Aren't We Supposed To Be Smarter Than Microsoft?



  •  I've just started experimenting with the weird and wonderful world of Linux, dual-booting my existing XP system with Ubuntu, having received a glowing recommendation for that particular distro by a programmer friend of mine; if you were involved with the iPodLinux project you know him as Josh, otherwise you'll have to take my word on it that he is way fucking smarter than me.

    I'd been learning the ropes on it for the last week or so with mixed feelings -the UI's a nice mix of the best bits of Windows 9x+ and Mac OS X, but the file system's feels rather unintuitive and I much prefer CNET to the built-in Add/Remove tool- when my Internet connection mysteriously started playing up; IRC and Instant Messenger continued to work but Firefox consistently returned timeout messages when trying to view webpages and Dillo just sort of sat there, refusing to budge from the splash page when I pressed Return. With slight trepidation I typed 'ping someaddressorother.com' into Terminal, offered a brief prayer that 'ping' wasn't a Linux command for 'wipe your entire drive, then anally rape the user's mother whilst pouring sugar in his gas tank' and hit Enter. To my great relief, it worked, though for some reason it kept sending pings out continuously until I closed the window; is that normal?

    Then I tried typing, 'tracert'...

    The program 'tracert' is currently not installed.  You can install it by typing:
    sudo apt-get install traceroute

    So in order to use a program whose primary function is troubleshooting recalcitrant Internet connections for the first time, I must download it from the Internet. And by leaving it out of the default install package so that only users who really need it will install it, the Ubuntu team saved me a whopping 172kb of hard drive space.

     It was at about this point that I began to wonder if this distro was really all it was cracked up to be.

     

    PS: Things that suck about Community Server, number smeg knows what; the 'select tags' icon doesn't like Firefox in Linux.



  • Try "traceroute" as opposed to 'tracert'



  • Yes, that's what ping on Unix does. I consider this to be a feature. Hit Ctrl-C to interrupt.

    Try losing some of your assumptions... things are different on Unix/Linux than Windows. That doesn't make it "unintuitive", just different.  Sometimes the differences are good, sometimes they're bad.  Keep your mind open so you spot the good parts.



  •  If you installed from a CD or DVD, traceroute will be on there too.

     Your main complaint is that it knows the application is missing, but it doesnt realize that your internet connection isn't working.



  •  Well, at least you have an open mind towards linux. When I first tried it I spent several hours cursing under my breath. Then just cursing. Of course this was a few years back when it wasn't as user friendly as today. On the plus side I learned my way around the command line to the point where I prefer it 90% of the time. 



  •  Also worth trying: take an old PC or laptop that you think is unusable under Windows and install one of the "light" distros on it (eg Zenwalk, Puppy, Feather or Damn Small).

    Prepare to be delighted by how responsive a modern OS  is on old hardware.

    My own setup is Zenwalk on an 8-year-old Thinkpad (500 MHz Celeron, 256 MB) . It's a fully practical work machine so long as I keep away from heavy CPU or high data volumes.

     



  • @AssimilatedByBorg said:

    Yes, that's what ping on Unix does. I consider this to be a feature. Hit Ctrl-C to interrupt.

    Try losing some of your assumptions... things are different on Unix/Linux than Windows. That doesn't make it "unintuitive", just different.  Sometimes the differences are good, sometimes they're bad.  Keep your mind open so you spot the good parts.

     

     

    FYI, you can have Windows continually ping using:

     "ping ubuntu.com -t"

     To stop it without closing the window, hit control-C.



  • Meros/Savar: Thanks for the tip. I used the traditional commands because I figured that even if they didn't work, they might generate an error message that would tell me what I did need to press; I try not to do my educated guessing directly into the command line. 

    AssimilatedbyBorg: I dare say it's mostly because I'm so used to the Windows approach of (mostly) shoving all the files from one application into the same folder in the Program Files sub-directory; the Unix/Linux way may or may not be better for performance and/or more crashworthy, but it does complicate tracking down that one particular program's configuration files or release notes a bit until one learns what all the acronyms mean. I shall persevere, however.

    Greywolf: I'll try that, thanks.

     



  • @AssimilatedByBorg said:

    Yes, that's what ping on Unix does. I consider this to be a feature. Hit Ctrl-C to interrupt.

    Try losing some of your assumptions... things are different on Unix/Linux than Windows.


    And know the single most important command on every(?) Unixy platform: man. man ping would've told about the -c option.



  • heh, I actually hit pretty much the same bug on windows twice in the past couple of days.

    1. on an old pc that didn't do internet any more, I accidentally found out why* - the ethernet driver no longer existed. Windows suggestion of how to fix: "Would you like to search for a driver online?" Fortunately I still have all the discs I got when I bought the PC 6 years ago with all the drivers.

    2. My girlfriend's computer stopped using the internet too (well, just the PC side of her dual-boot mac). Dug around for a while, and then tried disabling ZoneAlarm (the firewall). Instantly, everything starts working again - and ZoneAlarm pops up to say "A new update is available - this will fix a bug that made ZoneAlarm stop all incoming requests...."

    • in case you're interested, I never bothered trying to fix it as all my music + (old) games worked fine - I got my internet fix elsewhere :0)


  • @Jake Grey said:

    IRC and Instant Messenger continued to work
    Then why aren't you in our IRC channel?

    irc://irc.slashnet.org/TDWTFMafia



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Jake Grey said:

    IRC and Instant Messenger continued to work
    Then why aren't you in our IRC channel?

    irc://irc.slashnet.org/TDWTFMafia

     

    Because IRC is for people who can't go out and make friends in rl. :p



  • @amischiefr said:

    Because IRC is for people who can't go out and make friends in rl. :p

    You forgot the part about them still being stuck in 1993 :p



  • @DaEagle said:

    @amischiefr said:

    Because IRC is for people who can't go out and make friends in rl. :p

    You forgot the part about them still being stuck in 1993 :p

     

    Yeah really, we should start up an old BBS!!! That would rock! Then we could sit around playing MUDs all night while chatting with our cyber friends instead of getting out and doing something interesting!



  • @amischiefr said:

    @DaEagle said:

    @amischiefr said:

    Because IRC is for people who can't go out and make friends in rl. :p

    You forgot the part about them still being stuck in 1993 :p

     

    Yeah really, we should start up an old BBS!!! That would rock! Then we could sit around playing MUDs all night while chatting with our cyber friends instead of getting out and doing something interesting!

    Forget that!  All the cool kids are chatting with homing pigeons.


  •  

    Forget that!  All the cool kids are chatting with homing pigeons.

     

    TCP-OCP:  http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1149.txt

     

    And at a throughput of  2.27 Mbp, that is better than some "broadband" connections here in the states.



  • @communist_goatboy said:

    And at a throughput of  2.27 Mbp, that is better than some "broadband" connections here in the states.

    Just because Alabama touches the United States does not make it a state. 



  • @GreyWolf said:

    My own setup is Zenwalk on an 8-year-old Thinkpad (500 MHz Celeron, 256 MB) . It's a fully practical work machine so long as I keep away from heavy CPU or high data volumes.

    In other words, useless for any modern task except feeling leet while you "ls" your "dir" on the "box". 



  • @Jake Grey said:

    I try not to do my educated guessing directly into the command line. 

    Ah, but that's a great way to learn!  Your odds of doing something really bad are quite low.  Especially if you're not root, which it sounds like from your OP.

    @Jake Grey said:

    AssimilatedbyBorg: I dare say it's mostly because I'm so used to the Windows approach of (mostly) shoving all the files from one application into the same folder in the Program Files sub-directory; the Unix/Linux way may or may not be better for performance and/or more crashworthy, but it does complicate tracking down that one particular program's configuration files or release notes a bit until one learns what all the acronyms mean. I shall persevere, however.

    This handy-dandy command will give you a list of files installed by a given package: dpkg -L <packageName>.  I've never used Ubuntu, but I assume it's there somewhere, since it's Debian-based.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Those of us who don't live in crapstates laugh at the commiefag's 56k modem.

    Did you miss the 'TCP over carrier pigeon' reference?



  • @Soviut said:

    In other words, useless for any modern task except feeling leet while you "ls" your "dir" on the "box". 

     

     

    What part of "fully practical work machine" did you not understand? You seem to believe that I have to use the command line - not so. XFCE is so much more efficient than ANY of the Windows variants that using Zenwalk is more responsive than anything since (gasp) Win 3.11.[This machine was built for Win98, but is noticeably faster with Zenwalk.]

    So which was the "modern task" you were thinking of? Compile-Make-Install? No problem. Firefox 3 with 10 tabs open? No problem. Textprocessing the equal of Word? No problem. Email? Photo processing is slowier, but works. All of the above simultaneous - can do.



  • @GreyWolf said:

    Textprocessing the equal of Word?

    Ahh yes, that great Office killer that we were all waiting for. I guess that finally came out huh?

    @GreyWolf said:

    All of the above simultaneous - can do.

    So can my phone. I still wouldn't consider it a modern desktop.



  • @GreyWolf said:

    So which was the "modern task" you were thinking of? Compile-Make-Install?

     

    HAHAHHAHHA, modern task....  yeah the first thing I think of is make!  I would try getting out of the 70s before calling it modern

    @GreyWolf said:

    Firefox 3 with 10 tabs open? 

     

    Well, that's better, but internet browsers are from the early nineties, so I still don't think I would call it modern.  As a fun excersize I just opened 70 tabs to my google homepage and I didn't experience a single hiccup.  I'm running WIndows Vista.

    @GreyWolf said:

    Textprocessing the equal of Word?

     

    Well, textprocessing has been around since the 60s.  Word has been around since the 80s.  I don't know what you mean by "equal to Word," but I'll assume you mean OO Writer (which by the way is good only for the price, if price were the same it wouldn't have a chance)  Perhaps you mean somekind of LaTeX, or TeX editor in which case I need not bother.

    @GreyWolf said:

    Email?

     

    70s again...

     

    Calling any of those "modern tasks" is pretty much a joke.  How about streaming video, playing DVDs, playing games, IDEs with good intellisense, video and audio conferences,  burning CDs/DVDs, creating spreadsheets that do more than simple arithmatic and statistics?

     Many of these are not really "modern" but are still problematic on Unix.  Anyways, even if your machine can do all that your point is still worthless.  I have a machine at work that I have to use sometimes that has similar specs (450 MhZ, 256 MB I believe) which can do all of that on Windows 2000, and it's plenty responsive.

     



  • @Jake Grey said:

    Then I tried typing, 'tracert'...

    The program 'tracert' is currently not installed.  You can install it by typing:
    sudo apt-get install traceroute

     

    It's tracepath, not traceroute these days on linux. traceroute required the suid bit (same as ping). You should have tracepath installed by default.



  • @Farmer Brown said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Those of us who don't live in crapstates laugh at the commiefag's 56k modem.

    Did you miss the 'TCP over carrier pigeon' reference?

    Oh hell, my own troll.

     

    sigh  I will give you the benefit of the doubt: he clearly stated that avian media was faster than some "broadband" in the US.  I was mocking anyone who had a "broadband" connection slower than carrier pigeon, with the implied joke being that sheepchild or whatever-the-fuck-his-name-is was one of the poor, unfortunate souls living in a crapstate like Alabama and being stuck with a 56k modem.

     

    Please don't make be bring back the long disclaimer about how everything offensive is really a joke and all that...  I finally convinced the ADL to let me get rid of it after all this time... 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I was mocking anyone who had a "broadband" connection slower than carrier pigeon

    And I was mocking the density your post exhibited. You tried to make a joke as if the poster you quoted wasn't already making a joke.

    I suppose this could be what passes for humor in your eyes though...



  • @Farmer Brown said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    I was mocking anyone who had a "broadband" connection slower than carrier pigeon

    And I was mocking the density your post exhibited. You tried to make a joke as if the poster you quoted wasn't already making a joke.

    I suppose this could be what passes for humor in your eyes though...

    The part about broadband connections being slower than that wasn't so much a joke as a real statement.  Clearly he was making a tired, worn-out joke, I was just following up with a cruel bit of humor.



  • @tster said:

    streaming video

    Flash 10 works in Linux so you can watch videos on Youtube like this one:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu_moia-oVI

    @tster said:

    playing DVDs

    I can play videos just fine on Linux with VLC. If you're talking about the DMCA, there is a version of PowerDVD for Linux.

    @tster said:

    playing games

    Run windoze games with wine.

    @tster said:

     burning CDs/DVDs

    What? You can burn CDs on Linux just fine.

    @tster said:

    creating spreadsheets that do more than simple arithmatic and statistics?

    If OpenOffice can't do this then MS Office works with Wine.



  • @samanddeanus said:

    Flash 10 works in Linux so you can watch videos on Youtube like this one:

    For reference, I believe he was referring to what the other person can do on the old hardware he was advocating running Linux on. I think we are all aware of Linux's capabilities.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Clearly I was making a tired, worn-out joke

    FTFY.



    See? We can all do that.



  • @Farmer Brown said:

    @samanddeanus said:
    Flash 10 works in Linux so you can watch videos on Youtube like this one:
    For reference, I believe he was referring to what the other person can do on the old hardware he was advocating running Linux on. I think we are all aware of Linux's capabilities.

    He probably was referring mostly to the hardware, but he also wrote:
    @tster said:
    Many of these are not really "modern" but are still problematic on Unix.

    so perhaps not all are aware of Linux's capabilities.



  • @Ilya Ehrenburg said:

    He probably was referring mostly to the hardware, but he also wrote:
    @tster said:
    Many of these are not really "modern" but are still problematic on Unix.

    so perhaps not all are aware of Linux's capabilities.

    Well, I just attribute this to the angry writing. You may be right though, maybe he is not familiar with Linux.



  • @AssimilatedByBorg said:

    Ah, but that's a great way to learn!  Your odds of doing something really bad are quite low.  Especially if you're not root, which it sounds like from your OP.

    True, but 'really quite low' is not the same as non-existent, and the odds of doing something annoying that I can't fix and make my l337er friends laugh at me are probably quite high.

    @Soviut said:

    How about streaming video, playing DVDs, playing games, IDEs with good
    intellisense, video and audio conferences,  burning CDs/DVDs, creating
    spreadsheets that do more than simple arithmatic and statistics?

    I don't know what line of work Greywolf's in, but I imagine a relatively large number of people don't need to do any of the above every day in order to get any work done. If something like Damn Small Linux can make obselete but still functional machines useable for basic clerical and administrative tasks, you've just made a friend in the Accounts Department; that can only be a good thing. And I know a guy who swears by Windows 98 for this same purpose, so this is a relatively sane suggestion...



  • @Jake Grey said:

    I don't know what line of work Greywolf's in, but I imagine a relatively large number of people don't need to do any of the above every day in order to get any work done.

    I don't know what kind of line of work you are in, but I cannot imagine too many people who need to use a 500 MHz Celeron, 256 MB Thinkpad on a daily basis at work either.

    If your company cannot afford a modern desktop machine for you that can run XP, then you really should look for new employment.



    I should point out that there is no reason XP would not run on the aforementioned machine splendidly either. All soviut is doing is pointing out how useless greywolf's argument is.



  • @Farmer Brown said:

    I should point out that there is no reason XP would not run on the aforementioned machine splendidly either.
     

    I actually had a reasoned response in mind until I read that line, but you know what? Forget it.



  • @Jake Grey said:

    Forget it.

    Thank you. I am sure it would have only been embarrassing if you had said it.



  • @Ilya Ehrenburg said:

    @Farmer Brown said:
    @samanddeanus said:
    Flash 10 works in Linux so you can watch videos on Youtube like this one:
    For reference, I believe he was referring to what the other person can do on the old hardware he was advocating running Linux on. I think we are all aware of Linux's capabilities.

    He probably was referring mostly to the hardware, but he also wrote:
    @tster said:
    Many of these are not really "modern" but are still problematic on Unix.

    so perhaps not all are aware of Linux's capabilities.
     

    I was talking about his specified hardware, however I submit that many of those things are problematic in Unix:

    I know you can watch DVDs on Linux, but your probably doing so illegally, which I consider problematic.

    Anything that involves wine I also consider problematic since you are simply emulating (blah blah wine is not an emulator) another operating system to get the job done.



  • @tster said:

    Anything that involves wine I also consider problematic since you are simply emulating (blah blah wine is not an emulator) another operating system to get the job done.

    Not to mention that WINE just blows goats anyway.  Linux works great for everything I need, but if I was a gamer I'd at least dual-boot to Windows.  And considering how good Windows is for damn near everything, I'd probably just single-boot Windows.  Personally, I love Linux because it is a total pain in the ass.  It's the ultimate tinkerer's dream.  I realize it's come a long way in the last few years in becoming more user-friendly, but it is still a very mediocre replacement for Windows.  I'm actually running Vista now until I get a new computer and it's faster and more stable than any Linux desktop I have ever encountered.  Now when it comes to servers and embedded, Linux is better at holding its own, but 2009 is definitely not going to be the Year of Desktop Linux.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @tster said:

    Anything that involves wine I also consider problematic since you are simply emulating (blah blah wine is not an emulator) another operating system to get the job done.

    Not to mention that WINE just blows goats anyway.  Linux works great for everything I need, but if I was a gamer I'd at least dual-boot to Windows.  And considering how good Windows is for damn near everything, I'd probably just single-boot Windows.  Personally, I love Linux because it is a total pain in the ass.  It's the ultimate tinkerer's dream.  I realize it's come a long way in the last few years in becoming more user-friendly, but it is still a very mediocre replacement for Windows.  I'm actually running Vista now until I get a new computer and it's faster and more stable than any Linux desktop I have ever encountered.  Now when it comes to servers and embedded, Linux is better at holding its own, but 2009 is definitely not going to be the Year of Desktop Linux.

     

    I tried linux for a long time and really thought I might get used to it.  Then I came back to Windows for a while and realized that I can actually use my computer and not always have to be fixing something.



  • @tster said:

    I tried linux for a long time and really thought I might get used to it.  Then I came back to Windows for a while and realized that I can actually use my computer and not always have to be fixing something.

    What?  You're telling me you don't like feeling like an unpaid DEC field engineer every time you want to send photos to your family?  Pshaw!



  • @tster said:

     

    I tried linux for a long time and really thought I might get used to it.  Then I came back to Windows for a while and realized that I can actually use my computer and not always have to be fixing something.

     

    I have to admit Ubuntu is only a marginal improvement in performance terms; it boots faster than XP did even after I cleared the startup list of everything I didn't need, but it's no less prone to lag and the occasional complete freeze than XP is on the 512MB of RAM I'm currently making do with. This is why I experimented briefly with Dillo.



  • @tster said:

    I was talking about his specified hardware,
    Yes, that would be a bit feeble for many of those tasks.

    however I submit that many of those things are problematic in Unix:

    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=43985

    Aha. So watching youtube videos is problematic in at least one distribution (I'm not claiming it isn't problematic in any other, I just don't know if it is). That's one.

    I know you can watch DVDs on Linux, but your probably doing so illegally, which I consider problematic.

    Why would watching DVDs on Linux be illegal? Just curious, I can't imagine why it should be. 

    Anything that involves wine I also consider problematic since you are simply emulating (blah blah wine is not an emulator) another operating system to get the job done.

    I took the word "problematic" to refer to technical difficulties, so I wouldn't consider the use of wine problematic in that sense (if it works well, which I don't know, never used it). If you include "moral" problems for anti-MS zealots, I agree that wine is problematic. So in any case we have established that some things are problematic in Linux which aren't in windows (who's surprised?), I just think "many" is an exaggeration.


  • @Ilya Ehrenburg said:

    Why would watching DVDs on Linux be illegal? Just curious, I can't imagine why it should be.

    He was probably referring to the DMCA which makes it illegal (in the US) to crack DVD encryption.  AFAIK (and I may be completely wrong) there are no licensed DVD players for Linux which means you have to use software that cracks DVD encryption (and hence is illegal) to watch DVDs.  I thought the EU had similar legislation, but quite frankly we've been bombarded with so many bizarre successful and failed attempts at IP laws from every governing body on Earth for the last 15 years, so I may be remembering incorrectly. 



  •  That may be so, I'd have to ask a lawyer to be sure. If that
    is the case, that would be a fairly new law, a couple of years ago it
    was perfectly legal for Linux DVD players to ignore (not crack) the
    copy-protection on DVDs, so playing DVDs and even burning copies
    (including the protection) of copy-protected DVDs was fine
    (distributing the copies however was illegal).



  •  @Ilya Ehrenburg said:

    @tster said:

    I was talking about his specified hardware,
    Yes, that would be a bit feeble for many of those tasks.

    however I submit that many of those things are problematic in Unix:

    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=43985

    Aha. So watching youtube videos is problematic in at least one distribution (I'm not claiming it isn't problematic in any other, I just don't know if it is). That's one.

    I know you can watch DVDs on Linux, but your probably doing so illegally, which I consider problematic.

    Why would watching DVDs on Linux be illegal? Just curious, I can't imagine why it should be. 

    Anything that involves wine I also consider problematic since you are simply emulating (blah blah wine is not an emulator) another operating system to get the job done.

    I took the word "problematic" to refer to technical difficulties, so I wouldn't consider the use of wine problematic in that sense (if it works well, which I don't know, never used it). If you include "moral" problems for anti-MS zealots, I agree that wine is problematic. So in any case we have established that some things are problematic in Linux which aren't in windows (who's surprised?), I just think "many" is an exaggeration.

    It's illegal because of patent laws.  That's why Ubuntu doesn't ship with it enabled by default and you have to run a command to install the decrypter later.  Also, wine sucks pretty bad.  I have tried it and experienced tons of problems.  The APIs don't match up between windows and Linux so you get things that just don't work.  The mouse handling is all fucked so the pointer clicks 5 pixels off where it should, and it experiences a couple millisecond delay. 

    I'm not going to go into detail on all the stuff that sucks on linux (like the sound stack, digital sound, ATI drivers, flash, ndiswrapper, etc.).  If your interested you can look through the archives at http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/. By the way, I posted that one bug report because I found it funny that Linus Torvalds of all people was having problems with youtube working.



  •  @Ilya Ehrenburg said:

     That may be so, I'd have to ask a lawyer to be sure. If that
    is the case, that would be a fairly new law, a couple of years ago it
    was perfectly legal for Linux DVD players to ignore (not crack) the
    copy-protection on DVDs, so playing DVDs and even burning copies
    (including the protection) of copy-protected DVDs was fine
    (distributing the copies however was illegal).

    copying a DVD while ignoring the encryption is not illegal for the same reason as decrypting the DVD and watching it.  It's illegal to decrypt it because the algorithm is patented.  It's illegal to copy because of the DCMA.  

     

    NOTE:  I haven't been keeping up with this for a long time since I don't really care so things could be different now.



  •  I'm talking about the situation in Germany, I don't know if
    the decryption algorithm is or even can be patented here, certainly
    wasn't a couple of years ago. But I don't care about these things
    either, so I have to enquire the current state.



  • @tster said:

    By the way, I posted that one bug report because I found it funny that Linus Torvalds of all people was having problems with youtube working.

    You should check the date :) Also, http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/141821.asp



  • @tster said:

    <Categorization of tasks by their age, summary:>

    Software build systems: 70s 

    Web browsing: 90s 

    Text processing: 80s

    Email: 70s

    Calling any of those "modern tasks" is pretty much a joke.  How about streaming video, playing DVDs, playing games, IDEs with good intellisense, video and audio conferences,  burning CDs/DVDs, creating spreadsheets that do more than simple arithmatic and statistics?

     Many of these are not really "modern" but are still problematic on Unix.  Anyways, even if your machine can do all that your point is still worthless.  I have a machine at work that I have to use sometimes that has similar specs (450 MhZ, 256 MB I believe) which can do all of that on Windows 2000, and it's plenty responsive.

    Streaming video is pretty new, if only because consumer Internet connections haven't been fast enough until a few years ago.  This has little to do with OS support for playback though.  Video on home computers has been possible since the 90s.

    The DVD standard was created in mid-90s.  Video CD technology is a few years older.

    Video games have been around since the 70s, so that's hardly a new idea.  Recent advancements in technology has made it possible to have more lifelike realtime graphics in games, but sadly this often comes at the price of devoting more time to the graphics than the actual game.

    Intellisense has been around since the turn of the millennium at least.  More on this below.

    I couldn't find any exact historical information on audioconferencing, but I'd guess it's from the mid-20th century.  Earliest videophones are from 60s and videoconferencing has been around since 80s.

    Writing-capable CD drivers have been on the market since the beginning of 90s.  Writable DVDs appeared less than a decade later, in the late 90s.

    I don't know what sort of spreadsheet tasks you are referring to, but various forms of advanced mathematics have been carried out on computers since the dawn of information age.  Heck, calculating complicated things is what they were [i]invented[/i] for.

    So there, many of your so-called "modern" tasks are not so modern after all, eh?  I'll give a few more examples that might seem modern but are rather old.

    Photorealistic 3D rendering (not realtime) is several decades old.  Radiosity is a major breakthrough in this, and it has been in use since 70s.

    Computational fluid dynamics have been used in simulations since the 80s. 

    The conclusion?  Much of the technologies and activities available for consumers today have been around in the academic world for quite a while.  Now let me devote a few sentences for IntelliSense and software development in general.

    --- 

    I am a programmer, both at work and at leisure (this text concerns the latter).  I write programs on Linux.  My source code editor of choice is Vim and I use a homemade build system.  (You can call my habit of reinventing stuff a WTF, but that's beside the point here).  I do most of my work in a terminal, only using graphical tools for reading documentation and creating graphics for my software.  My favourite programming language is C++ and I use OpenGL 2.1 (including shaders, FBOs and stuff) in my games.  Except for the advanced 3D graphics, the technologies I use for my programming are all from the last millennium.  Does this make my software development methodology non-modern, even ancient?  Perhaps, but I like it.  Does it make my code less worthy?  I don't think so.  Programmers can not be judged by the tools they use.  I have a good head on my shoulders, and I can hold large amounts of code in my mind.  I don't need IntelliSense or other similar tools to remind me of my class hierarchies and methods.

    A lot of the features in modern software packages are rather superfluous.  They may make things easier for some people, but many skilled professionals don't need them.  There's also a flipside: by letting users do professional-looking things easily, they may think they're more skillful than they really are, even if they don't actually understand what they just did.  Letting people create complex database-driven dynamic websites at the press of a button may not be the best of ideas after all. 



  • @tdb said:

    @tster said:

    <Categorization of tasks by their age, summary:>

    Software build systems: 70s 

    Web browsing: 90s 

    Text processing: 80s

    Email: 70s

    Calling any of those "modern tasks" is pretty much a joke.  How about streaming video, playing DVDs, playing games, IDEs with good intellisense, video and audio conferences,  burning CDs/DVDs, creating spreadsheets that do more than simple arithmatic and statistics?

     Many of these are not really "modern" but are still problematic on Unix.  Anyways, even if your machine can do all that your point is still worthless.  I have a machine at work that I have to use sometimes that has similar specs (450 MhZ, 256 MB I believe) which can do all of that on Windows 2000, and it's plenty responsive.

    Streaming video is pretty new, if only because consumer Internet connections haven't been fast enough until a few years ago.  This has little to do with OS support for playback though.  Video on home computers has been possible since the 90s.

    The DVD standard was created in mid-90s.  Video CD technology is a few years older.

    Video games have been around since the 70s, so that's hardly a new idea.  Recent advancements in technology has made it possible to have more lifelike realtime graphics in games, but sadly this often comes at the price of devoting more time to the graphics than the actual game.

    Intellisense has been around since the turn of the millennium at least.  More on this below.

    I couldn't find any exact historical information on audioconferencing, but I'd guess it's from the mid-20th century.  Earliest videophones are from 60s and videoconferencing has been around since 80s.

    Writing-capable CD drivers have been on the market since the beginning of 90s.  Writable DVDs appeared less than a decade later, in the late 90s.

    I don't know what sort of spreadsheet tasks you are referring to, but various forms of advanced mathematics have been carried out on computers since the dawn of information age.  Heck, calculating complicated things is what they were invented for.

    So there, many of your so-called "modern" tasks are not so modern after all, eh?  I'll give a few more examples that might seem modern but are rather old.

    Photorealistic 3D rendering (not realtime) is several decades old.  Radiosity is a major breakthrough in this, and it has been in use since 70s.

    Computational fluid dynamics have been used in simulations since the 80s. 

    The conclusion?  Much of the technologies and activities available for consumers today have been around in the academic world for quite a while.  Now let me devote a few sentences for IntelliSense and software development in general.

     

    Wow, you made a lot of great points, but only served to prove the point that linux sucks at doing most things.  As I already noted these are all things that can be reasonably considered problematic on *nix.  Obviously when I refered to games I'm not looking to boot up and get emersed in a great game of Pong.  Whether you like games with good graphics or not, OpenGL is now widely considered by most people to be a joke compared  to DirectX. 

    When I refered to spreadsheet that do stuff I was making the point that OpenOffice, the subject of so much linux fanboy drivel, Calculate is at best a mediocre spreadsheet lacking the power and ability to get done what modern businesses currently get done in Excel.

    Also you try and say all my examples are old because some researcher in the 90s got it working, or the standard was layed down.  I am talking about when things achieved common usage in the home/office.   Watching DVDs on computes only became common perhaps 5-7 years ago, video conferencing wasn't done on home/office desktops until the 90s.  

    So basically my point is:  Yeah, lots of that stuff came in the 90s, but most of it came post-boom wheras everything thati said wasn't modern came pre-boom.  And even if you disagree with me there, the point is that Linux has problems with doing these tasks, no matter the hardware.  Even beyond that point, the original post I was replying to implied that Linux was so effecient that his old computer could perform the same tasks that would require a much newer computer running Windows. 


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