[olug] Disappointment and a question ...

olug4mgm at paktronix.com olug4mgm at paktronix.com
Wed Apr 9 15:19:28 UTC 2014

Amen. I tend to only lurk on this list for that very reason.

I personally have run my own distro of Linux for the last two decades 
(PakSecured was "officially" announced at LinuxWorld in 1997). But my main 
desktop is Mac (OSX 10.6.x only) as it is unix (with a lower case u and no 
"i") but yet allows me to run the evil necessities such as Adobe, Quark, 
MS, etal. Of course I do spend 75% or so of the time in several terminal 
windows. The X remote is somewhat sucky but tolerable. Luckily, PS is a 
command line (old style) unix so no need for much Gooey.

Bill is absolutely correct in stating that you need to figure out "what 
works for you" and go with it. Anything else is just religion. As an 
agnostic I believe in god but not religion as religions are designed to 
control man (gender neutral man of course). Just look at the wondrous 
flame wars still raging between NET vs Open BSD for the last twenty years 
over who allowed MS to steal their networking code. Hint - check the 
license and there is no argument...

And if you care to debate any of these points or ask how I got Win98 to 
run under DosEMU back in the day, please let us take such a discussion off 
list as it likely serves not the wonderful community represented herein 
of whom I am proud to be a member.

PS forever!


On Sat, 5 Apr 2014, Bill Brush wrote:

> This is hardly a new question, but the answer is purely subjective.
> I have run every version of Windows from 3.0 to 8.1, except Vista.  I have
> tried dozens of distros for Linux.  I ran OpenSuse (in various iterations)
> exclusively for 8 years.  I am now on Win 7 at home because I run a Windows
> shop currently.  My wife, bless her heart, asked me to put linux on her new
> PC because she had been using Windows on my work laptop and she was sick of
> it.
> I've come to the conclusion that what "just works" depends heavily on what
> you do with it, what your expectations are, and what your past experience
> is.
> Personally, if I could, I would run OpenSuse exclusively but I don't have
> that option.
> Bill
> On Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 8:18 PM, unfy <olug at unfy.org> wrote:
>> First up, I'm not looking for a flame war.  This is just a legitimate
>> question.
>> -----------------------
>> So, I've been using Linux since about Slackware 3.0 or something like
>> that. 1996/1997 or so.
>> I used linux as my desktop OS for the longest time because I was tired of
>> how unstable windows was, etc.  I'd boot into windows to play games if
>> necessary - but my day to day life was under linux.  I even used it at work
>> with windows in a virtual machine.
>> I eventually picked up a dell notebook that had XP SP1 on it (2003 ?) ...
>> and being open to new things, decided to give it a fair shake.  After a
>> month or so I was generally happy with how stable it was and decided to
>> leave linux behind as a desktop OS.  There was generally better hardware
>> support under XP ... and it seemed stable.
>> I've stuck with linux / bsd as a server OS though.
>> Fast forward to 2014 and a coworker has been fiddling with some different
>> linux distro's.  Ubuntu, Zoran (or whatever), and a few others.
>> I had to walk away shaking my head.
>> --------------
>> The question:
>> Is there a linux distro that is actually USEFUL to folks out of the box ?
>> Something like a working control panel ?
>> Base / simple configuration of services (with the understanding that
>> complex stuff will require editing a config file) ?
>> Feedback when an application is loading in the background ?
>> An error message if an application fails to load ?
>> Non-cryptic cd/dvd burning software ?
>> Customizing start menu / widget stuff isn't black voodoo ?
>> Something where I don't have to drop to the console to fix 90% of the
>> problems ?
>> Basically, it seems like looking back over the last 20 years - I've seen
>> different distros hit all of these subjects and sometimes complete said
>> task - only to change it / drop it a few releases later etc.
>> Is there a distro that SIMPLY WORKS FOR THE HOME USER ? Doesn't have to be
>> the prettiest thing on the planet, but lets you accomplish everything ya
>> need to do out of the box ? And isn't a PITA to use ? Is there a distro
>> that quits trying to re-invent every aspect of the wheel with each release ?
>> I know what I'm asking is a bit subjective - but seriously - what ever
>> happened to "this tool does one thing and does it really well" mentality
>> (see most of the command line tools) ?
>> When subjectively looking at the 4 or so distro's my coworker fired up,
>> Windows 3.1, Windows 95, BeOS, OS/2, etc were all more functionally
>> complete.  Hell, I still think BeOS rocks :D.
>> There is ZERO chance I'd use any of them as a desktop OS.  I'd be more at
>> home in the 2.0 kernel days and Afterstep / Windowmaker hehehe.
>> KDE looked like it was trying pretty hard in the early pre-1.0 and 1.0/2.0
>> days to get things somewhat there....
>> ----------------------
>> Sure, most distro's come with the standard apps like open office or
>> whatever it's called these days.  And a couple options of browsers. Maybe a
>> few 'explorer' like programs.  A few media consumption programs. Some of
>> these applications may or may not work.  Others might offer some closed
>> source drivers that may or may not work on your hardware depending on the
>> age of your hardware.   (that brings up more fun.  want to run older
>> hardware - gotta run an older distro.  but then if you have a problem with
>> something, everything/one says you need to upgrade your distro... which you
>> cant cause of the older hardware etc).
>> Is there a distro that has a checklist of "this is what this distro MUST
>> do from a functionality stand point", and then it sticks to making that
>> happen ?
>> ----------------------
>> With the above said, I did make use of Mythbuntu for many years on my HTPC
>> box (with two hauppage pvr-150's).  But - that was mostly just getting the
>> OS to run mythfrontend and mythbackend  and nothing else.  Did have to
>> patch alsa by hand all the time for HDMI audio over nforce 630i chipset
>> (don't think i ever pushed the patch upstream though heh).

Matthew G. Marsh, JD, NSA, CISA, CISSP
Paktronix Systems LLC
1602 North 59th Street
Omaha  NE  68104-4832
Phone: (402) 932-7250 x101
Email: olug4mgm at paktronix.com

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