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Linux is a pile of poo.

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Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I'm sorry, but I have tried to get into linux. My (this) machine can (could) dual boot and it seemed quite usable. However, two days ago I booted into linux (ubuntu) and was informed that a new version was available. I (or rather it) installed it and since then I have had no network access and the Nvidia drivers no longer work.

I booted back into XP and searched the internet. It seems I need RT61 drivers for my wireless card. I go to the manufacturers site and download the correct driver package. I then find I have a bunch of C files that I have to somehow compile and then somehow install. WTF, why isn't there an executable that installs it?

I'm sorry but if anyone thinks that linux is ever going to become anything more than a curiosity then they are mistaken.

I am willing to be proved wrong. Please, anyone that thinks Linux is good, please walk me through getting my network working again. People call MS but in this case I had a perfectly good working ubuntu partition and when it got upgraded I had a pile of poo.

Oh, and BTW, guess where the help file for "can't connect to the internet" is. Yup, you guessed it, on the internet. FFS.

[/winge]

Mike.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Linux is FAR less user friendly than Windows, it's not an OS for the masses.

It's got advantages, and it's got disadvantages, but pick the right tool for the job.
 

Hero999

Banned
C files have the advantage of portability, for example it the same files can be used on both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.

Did you read the manual?

Normally it's fairly easy to compile it yourself lots of programs come with a shell script to help installation but you have to load it from the command line.
 

Wonka

New Member
I'm with Pommie on this, poo indeed. I have tried to get to grips with the various incarnations of Linux, but everyting about it seems to be problem. I understand the portability issue and "tools for use". I'm sure when set up correctly by those in the know it will perfom. But after spending hours wresting with the install, reading the various books, shell, grep, make and so on. XP is not everything I know but.. phew... anyway you get the idea. poo indeed.
 

Brian Hoskins

New Member
I grew up with AmigaOS which, in my opinion, was a fantastic operating system in its day and was years ahead of anything else that was available (to regular consumers anyway). One of AmigaOS's main strengths was a lean, fast, and incredibly efficient OS which is what I think an Operating System should be like.

I tried Linux because I thought it offered similar attributes. No bloatware, just fast and efficient operation. Power to the applications.

How wrong was I? Ubuntu was one of the distros I tried, and I'd say it's easily as bloated as XP... if not more so. But at least Windows can claim a high degree of user-friendliness to show for its bloat. I don't think you can say the same about Linux.

To add more misery, most of the applications I want to use - especially my Electronics stuff - are not available for Linux. So with all that in mind I would have to agree with you. Linux isn't a particularly good OS to use for a main system on a daily basis. I have not been able to use it without feeling a regular need to boot into Windows, so I can't consider it a viable replacement for Windows.

Brian
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
I run a Linux gateway + NAS (Clark Connect) on an Inten D945CL2 motherboard.

It's very reliable an aside from the pain of setting up 3rd party software / drivers it's excellent.

Would I use Linux as my primary OS... no.
 

gabeNC

Member
As a linux user for over 10 years now, i'd say it's MUCH easier than it used to be. Back in the day you had to compile EVERYTHING from source and would frequently run into dependency hell. Each release of linux has gotten better, some distros are better than others, find one that works well for your platform and has (most) all the hardware support. Or just use a "live" CD and it doesn't modify your current disk partition, it's a really good way to get your feet wet. Currently I use Fedora*, I felt like Ubuntu was too dumbed down and tried to appeal to windows users.

To call it poo is like saying PICS suck because of <insert excuse here>. Most of the time it boils down to lack of experience and frustration. 'Cmon guys... screwing around in linux, modifying the kernel, extending the functionality of applications is really no different than building a circuit with a pile of PICS. Could you buy the commercial equivalent? Yup... but where's the fun in that? :)

I dual-boot my laptop with fedora and xp because my audio applications (bfd,ableton,reason) only run on XP. Is it perfect? no. But it's no fistya either, things run and they run fast. I get tired of that "genuine advantage" crap. Back to what Nigel said... use the right tool for the right job. I personally feel that windows is a inferior operating system and all the vulnerabilities that come with it. But that's my opinion.


*disclaimer: maybe it's easier for me because I've been working in unix and coding for over 15 years. *shrug*.
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
To call it poo is like saying PICS suck because of <insert excuse here>. Most of the time it boils down to lack of experience and frustration. 'Cmon guys... screwing around in linux, modifying the kernel, extending the functionality of applications is really no different than building a circuit with a pile of PICS. Could you buy the commercial equivalent? Yup... but where's the fun in that? :)
That's precious time that could be spent on electronics that's being wasted on getting Linux to work.

I personally feel that windows is a inferior operating system and all the vulnerabilities that come with it. But that's my opinion.
Is this really the case? My impression was that Linux (and Apple OS) are less secure than windows and that if you actually targeted them it would be easier to wreak havoc than with windows...but no one bothers to. Windows is involved in the arm's race much more than Linux and Apple OS.
 
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gabeNC

Member
That's precious time that could be spent on electronics that's being wasted on getting Linux to work.

One could argue that it's not time wasted if you learned something. The time "invested" (hahaha) in the early years has directly affected my skill set and current employment.


Is this really the case? My impression was that Linux (and Apple OS) are less secure than windows and that if you actually targeted them it would be easier to wreak havoc than with windows...but no one bothers to.
That one actually made me laugh, as someone who has to read IDS (intrusion detection) logs, any machine connected to a network is a target and do get attacked/scanned. Where did you form your impression from? I spend hours cleaning off viruses spyware and bloatware off of friends and families computers all running windows. I have had zero... yes zero viruses or rootkits on my machines. Yes there are vulnerabilities in any o/s, but the way the kernel interoperates in windows does make it easier to exploit.

Windows is involved in the arm's race much more than Linux and Apple OS.
I don't understand this one? :confused:

I really don't want to get into a jihad over this, we all have our experiences and biases, i'm no different. I saw some of the FUD on some of the posts and wanted to chime in with my 2 cents. No offense intended and none taken.

Cheers! :D
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
I come from a pre-DOS environment so I don't mind the command line. I think the thing about Linux that burns my ... is the so many distros and dependencies make it tough for any casual user to wrap their heads around.
yum, apt-get, depositories, kernels, make, sheesh...
 

Hero999

Banned
Linux is just the kernel which bundled with a variety of different applications. This in itself is an issue because every different system is totally different. With a homogenius system such as Windows, Mac OS and Amiga OS, there's normally only one way of doing something, under Linux there's several.

In my view anyone who just says it's poo probably doesn't understand it. I know this sounds elitist but it's probably true. To be honest I don't fully understand Linux.

To say that Linux is bloated isn't true, if you strip it down to the kernel it can run on an old 486 with 8MB of RAM. However you'd be correct in saying that some graphical distributions of Linux such as Ubuntu are bloated.

I ran Linux (dual boot) for awhile and hardly ever used Windows until Windows went down. The problem was when I reinstalled Windows, it overwrited the Linux boot loader and now it only boots into Windows. I still have my Linux partition and know how to fix this problem, I'm just too lazy. :D

WINE runs LTSpice pretty well which is the only Windows only program I really need. All the other programs I use have Linux equivalents which are either as good or better. The only Microsoft software I use is Windows, everything else is either open source and or freewar.
 

Brian Hoskins

New Member
I personally feel that windows is a inferior operating system

I would have to agree with that statement actually. In my opinion, the definition of an Operating System goes something like this:

An effective and efficient manager that allocates system resources to its applications.

Windows is not efficient, and it consumes huge amounts of system resources for itself. I used to complain bitterly about Windows XP in this respect, but then I tried Vista (which I hoped would be an improvement) and I was horrified. Any system that wastes resources like Vista does can not be considered a good Operating System as far as I'm concerned. You wouldn't say your car's engine management system was performing well if it used half of your engine's power to run itself would you? No, the engine management system is supposed to give the engine's power to the user. Same with OS - make the resources available to the user, they're not for self-consumption!

Brian
 

Brian Hoskins

New Member
To say that Linux is bloated isn't true, if you strip it down to the kernel it can run on an old 486 with 8MB of RAM. However you'd be correct in saying that some graphical distributions of Linux such as Ubuntu are bloated.

Hmmm, you might have a very good point there actually.

Ok... can you recommend a lightweight (but very functional) distro then? Basically I want functionality without all the bloat and eye candy. If you can recommend a good distro that approximates those goals, I'll give it a try!

Brian
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I grew up with AmigaOS which, in my opinion, was a fantastic operating system in its day and was years ahead of anything else that was available (to regular consumers anyway). One of AmigaOS's main strengths was a lean, fast, and incredibly efficient OS which is what I think an Operating System should be like.

Yes, I loved AmigaOS, partly based on UNIX, including long file names and case sensitivity. It multitasked amazingly well, on small slow hardware - 1/2Meg of RAM and a single floppy is all it needed.

Most of the core DOS routines were separate commands stored on disk, and were written using C - in later years you could replace them with 100% assembler versions, making them much faster and smaller - these were all written by individuals and released as freeware.

That's a big part of the problems with Windows and Linux, written using bloated C.
 

Torben

Well-Known Member
Yes, I loved AmigaOS, partly based on UNIX, including long file names and case sensitivity. It multitasked amazingly well, on small slow hardware - 1/2Meg of RAM and a single floppy is all it needed.

Most of the core DOS routines were separate commands stored on disk, and were written using C - in later years you could replace them with 100% assembler versions, making them much faster and smaller - these were all written by individuals and released as freeware.

That's a big part of the problems with Windows and Linux, written using bloated C.

You can fit Linux on a floppy. You can even do it and make it a useful tool; for instance, you can make a headless router that way. If you want to replace the shell with all assembler, go right on ahead. There is nothing stopping you or anyone else. It's just that in most cases, it buys you absolutely no gains unless you happen to be targeting a very specific and very limited platform.

Most of what people think are "Linux" commands are also not part of the kernel, but are instead provided by the command shell. There is nothing stopping you from replacing the shell, just as you could with Amiga. And you can take it much farther. I have a laptop which boots Ubuntu in a little over a minute, which is not terribly fast unless you take into account the fact that it runs several servers (email, http, sql, dns, print, dhcp, etc), incorporates a ridiculous amount of desktop bling (just 'cause), and has the ability to access just about any filesystem out there. I only mention that to contrast it again a wee little device I have which boots Linux from NAND Flash in 1.1 seconds. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles (and can also boot a more well-equipped Linux from SD card) but it can do many headless tasks just fine. I also have an old 486 which boots Linux from floppy and makes a fine firewalling router (if somewhat loud and power-hungry).


Torben
 

Torben

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry, but I have tried to get into linux. My (this) machine can (could) dual boot and it seemed quite usable. However, two days ago I booted into linux (ubuntu) and was informed that a new version was available. I (or rather it) installed it and since then I have had no network access and the Nvidia drivers no longer work.

That's not Linux, that's Ubuntu. I have my issues with Ubuntu as well, but I have far more with Vista. XP is OK but is too limited, insecure, and unstable for the things I want and need to do.

I booted back into XP and searched the internet. It seems I need RT61 drivers for my wireless card. I go to the manufacturers site and download the correct driver package. I then find I have a bunch of C files that I have to somehow compile and then somehow install. WTF, why isn't there an executable that installs it?

That's the vendor, not Linux. IMHO vendors should provide installable packages for the major distros and platforms, but that said, once you start having to provide packages for, say Ubuntu, CentOS, and Gentoo (just 3 of the more popular distros) you're talking about quite a bit of extra work. And Ralink has had the good grace to release their code to the public, so others can always package it up for others to download if they like. Remember that often the only thing the people providing you the software get out of it is a warm fuzzy feeling.

I downloaded the Ralink driver source. There is a complete Readme file there with full instructions on how to compile. I'd agree that it isn't very well written but again, that's nothing to do with Linux and everything to do with Ralink. Write to them if you feel it needs improving, or even better, contribute.

I mean, this is a lot easier than many of the things you do on a regular basis with PICs and electronics. It ain't exactly rocket surgery. For my Mom, sure. I'd never tell her to install any Linux distro. But you should be able to handle this with your eyes closed. If you don't need it enough to go to the trouble, then that's a whole different issue. Use the tool that makes you happiest. Nobody else honestly loses a thing if you decide it's not worth it.

I'm sorry but if anyone thinks that linux is ever going to become anything more than a curiosity then they are mistaken.

I am willing to be proved wrong.

You were proven wrong years ago. Linux has held the server market for a long time now, and while there is certainly work to be done on the desktop front, it's fully usable and millions of us do use it daily.

Please, anyone that thinks Linux is good, please walk me through getting my network working again. People call MS but in this case I had a perfectly good working ubuntu partition and when it got upgraded I had a pile of poo.

Oh, and BTW, guess where the help file for "can't connect to the internet" is. Yup, you guessed it, on the internet. FFS.
[/winge]

Er. . .why can't you just plug in a CAT5 cable long enough to surf for what you need? Seems simple enough. It may be a step you wish you didn't have to take but it's hardly backbreaking labour.

I will happily grant that Linux (more properly, most Linux distros) still aren't ready for the Grandma Test but honestly neither is Windows. MacOS has a lot going for it (BSD underneath, pretty on top) but there is still a learning curve. But again, many of the common problems people have are not with Linux but with other packages on top of it. Conflating Linux and Ubuntu is just like when people think Internet Explorer is "the Internet".

What you're feeling is just the common frustration anyone has when faced with a tool that they feel should "just work". I get the same frustration. The trick is just to calm down and face it rationally--the same way you might deal with any other technical problem. If it's not worth your time, no problem, use something else--again, it's no skin off anybody else's nose.

For me, Linux as a desktop OS still has its warts, to be sure. But at least it's not the festering bedsore Windows is. I'll take an afternoon of getting Wifi running over a weekend of digging out spyware and viruses any time, or waiting 45 minutes for a large wireless network copy operation to start, or random lockups anytime.


Torben
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
OK, another day has dawned and I am now calm, so I'll give it another try.

Torben,
I can't plug a cat5 cable in as the router is in another room and about 30M away (50 if I go via doors).

One question, if my internet was working I could install the necessary driver automatically without having to compile anything. Why can't I get that same driver on a USB drive and somehow install it.

I'm going to try a reinstall of 9.04 and see if I can get something up and running. Will check back later.

Mike.
 

Torben

Well-Known Member
OK, another day has dawned and I am now calm, so I'll give it another try.

Torben,
I can't plug a cat5 cable in as the router is in another room and about 30M away (50 if I go via doors).

Hm. Don't have a chainsaw handy, eh? ;)

One question, if my internet was working I could install the necessary driver automatically without having to compile anything. Why can't I get that same driver on a USB drive and somehow install it.

You totally could. The driver should just be packaged in a .deb file--you could just download that on another machine, put it on the USB drive, take that to the machine you're trying to get running, and plug in the USB drive. Then you just open the USB drive in the file manager (probably Places|USB DISC or something similar) and double-click on the .deb file, which will open Package Manager and load the .deb file. Then just click "Install Package" and (in theory) it will install.

I'm going to try a reinstall of 9.04 and see if I can get something up and running. Will check back later.

Try what I just proposed first before going for the full reinstall. I've had good luck with 9.04 so far although my laptop also has some weird Wifi issues. If you get the driver installed and it still doesn't want to work, you might want to try removing Network Manager and installing Wicd instead. It does the same thing in general as Network Manager but in my experience, does it much better (i.e. it tends to work). Network Manager is one of those "warts" I was talking about. :)


Regards,

Torben

P.S. Apologies if my ealier post seemed a little ranty. I know this stuff isn't perfect. But it's also free and often more a labour of love than anything else. Even open-source coders have to do something during the day to pay the bills and don't always have the time or resources they might wish in order to polish everything for the next release.
 
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