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Old June 20 2009, 09:32 PM   #16
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

I already use Ubuntu...

Along with the rest of the two percent of Linux users world wide.
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Old June 20 2009, 09:41 PM   #17
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Re: Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

USS KG5 wrote: View Post
But then presumably you had an OEM license and key stuck on your PC, acquiring the installer is not an issue, it is the license that counts!
Well that's okay. However, I had Media Centre on my PC but could only find a copy of Home Edition.
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Old June 20 2009, 09:58 PM   #18
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

Jadzia wrote: View Post
One of my gripes with mainstream operating systems is the exponential increase in their hardware demands. I know we flash figures like 2GB memory around nowadays like it's nothing, but that is a hell of a lot of memory.
I'm in absolute agreement. I've been working on computer systems for 15 years, and I've watched the system requirements for something as simple as an operating system jump by leaps and bounds. When it takes more than 30-40% of your system resources, it's not an operating system, it's an albatross. It's why we have 500GB hard drives, because a 20GB hard drive can't really hold a modern operating system anymore. That's ridiculous!

To me it seems operating systems are running progressively slower as we advance. eg, imagine Vista running on a 486 if that were even possible. You know it would run many times slower than windows 95 does.
Another annoyance. We have dual and quad core processors, and we're running at the same pace as we were with 386s. Modern OSes are filled to the brim to overflowing with bloat. Programmers are being lazy, and we get 300MB CD burning softwares, 500MB media players, and so on.

The manufacturers rely on improving hardware to compensate for the slower execution of the newer operating system: Win95 on a 486 is sluggish. Vista on a Pentium 4 is sluggish. Overall I'm guessing that state-of-the-art operating systems will always be sluggish on not-quite-state-of-the-art hardware.
I remember when I ran Windows 98SE on a 66Mhz 486DX. It was smooth, sprightly and easily manageable. Windows ME demanded a 120Mhz Pentium processor. There was no real difference in the operating systems, they were based on the same platform, yet one demanded nearly double the hardware requirements to run.

Now admittedly, the new operating systems come with some new features, which is what we purchase them for, although we're forced to make hardware upgrades to run the new systems.

The question we should ask ourselves is "are the increasing hardware demands representative of the gains in the OS's features?"

I don't think they do in general.
Agreed. Why should Solitaire consume so many resources. It's a card game (as just one example).

What ReactOS proves I think is that new operating systems don't need to make all those hardware demands. Consider that ReactOS runs much like windows 98 does on a pentium 1, but it runs like lightning on a modern i7.

Isn't that the kind of future we want for operating systems? The alternative is in 20 years time the state of the art OS will be demanding a minimum of 1TB of main memory, 10TB hard disk space minimum, and it still runs sluggish on a 3GHz x1000 core 128-bit processor.
I wouldn't say 20 years. I'd say 10 maximum, maybe less. The requirements are out of control. It's one of the reasons I'm looking forward to Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Hundreds of performance tweaks and it will consume 6 GB less than Leopard on your hard drive. I like where Apple has decided to go with that.

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Old June 20 2009, 10:54 PM   #19
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

2) Open source software is often designed by developers. There's a big difference between developers and designers; some people even like to say their brains are wired differently and they wouldn't be entirely incorrect. Designers follow their feelings, their intuition; unquantifiable items, except through usability testing. Programmers follow logic, steps that follow each other rigidly. Both ways are good, however, the end users aren't usually that logical. What you end up with, are dialogs with hundreds of check boxes, a lot of buttons, untuitive text, modal dialogs with "Greek" error numbers and a hundred, confusing and non-memorable ways to do the exact same things. All perfectly logical for a programmer; it looks like a relative database laid out. Not so for the end user; it confuses or scares the hell out of them.
LMAO!! I busted out laughing at this comment, it is so true. The differences between Photoshop and an open source program like GIMP are a perfect example.

Personally, while I like Linux, I pretty much find it completely useless other than to know what they look like and how to use them for the "IT bragging rights" so to speak.

Sure it will do some things better (Apache is 10 times better than IIS for example) but some things are just confusing (Like getting a Video or Soundcard to work properly, and if you have some proprietary card you're most likely SOL)

As for piracy, well that's what happens when companies are greedy bastards.

Why does Microsoft have 5 different versions of Vista? And the cheapest one with Aero is around $100. You want Ultimate? $300.

If they had, let's say, Home for $30, Pro for $50, and Ultimate for $100 I bet there would be 10 times as many people buying a legit copy of Windows.

I sometimes don't understand how things work. Another example with Games: I can buy Crysis for $30 brand new, but Fallout 3 is still $70!! And while both games are good, Crysis stomps on Fallout 3 graphics wise. The company is just hoping people buy into the Fallout nostalgia to shell out the $70. Not everyone does, and that's when people start pirating.
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Old June 20 2009, 11:57 PM   #20
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

DiSiLLUSiON wrote: View Post
2) Open source software is often designed by developers. There's a big difference between developers and designers; some people even like to say their brains are wired differently and they wouldn't be entirely incorrect. Designers follow their feelings, their intuition; unquantifiable items, except through usability testing. Programmers follow logic, steps that follow each other rigidly. Both ways are good, however, the end users aren't usually that logical.
I think that's quite true even though I've never thought of it like that before. I think of my own software skill as more akin with design than development, although I interweave these two forms of thought quite consistently in my opinion.

I'd say I'm more intuitive than logical: I like software to be intuitive. If it doesn't feel intuitive to use then it's a recipe for fail. Then I am frowned at by programmers when I'm keenly promoting the use of non-standard methodologies and ignoring explicit guidelines, even though I know the result will produce a more natural result for end users. That's not to say my ideas are logically unsound however.
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Old June 21 2009, 12:02 AM   #21
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

I tried various linux distros but always end up back at Windows.. Linux just seems to be a time sink in terms of getting to my current level of productivity.
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Old June 21 2009, 12:33 AM   #22
DiSiLLUSiON
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

Jadzia wrote: View Post
I think that's quite true even though I've never thought of it like that before. I think of my own software skill as more akin with design than development, although I interweave these two forms of thought quite consistently in my opinion.

I'd say I'm more intuitive than logical: I like software to be intuitive. If it doesn't feel intuitive to use then it's a recipe for fail. Then I am frowned at by programmers when I'm keenly promoting the use of non-standard methodologies and ignoring explicit guidelines, even though I know the result will produce a more natural result for end users. That's not to say my ideas are logically unsound however.
Those qualities usually make for a good software developer. Who is, correct me if I'm wrong, often overruled by the other members in the team.
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Old June 21 2009, 12:37 AM   #23
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

GodBen wrote: View Post
I agree that software piracy is wrong and it is good to have an open source alternative to Windows, but for the majority of people Windows is too complex to understand, those people haven't a hope trying to understand Linux.
Most of those people will of course buy a PC with an OEM license of Windows on it - for some reason it seems to be the more computer literate who are more prone to piracy.
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Old June 21 2009, 12:45 AM   #24
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

DiSiLLUSiON wrote: View Post
No, Linux, as it stands now, isn't ready for general use. When most software adhere to strict interface guidelines and a more then good effort is made to make the software as easy, intuitively and usable as possible, perhaps. But that time is still far away, and probably will be for some time to come.
Good points in your post, I agree with almost all of them, including that Linux is not ready for the average Joe.

BUT - a lot of the free software out there is a much better option IMHO than unlicensed copies.

There has to be a rule of law, and businesses need some help from society as a whole to make money. Yes some evil buggers pocket most of it but the software industry keeps thousands employed.

My point is that when people make their many excuses for piracy they often do not consider that if you really want something free, its out there. The fact is though they are not even willing in many cases to choose between spending cash and spending time.

I'm not spouting the "Copying a DVD is like stealing a car" crap we get day in, day out, but the mentally of the illegal downloader or unlicensed software user is "i want, i take, dont care about consequences" and this is certainly a criminal mentality.

I'm just saying with this thread that thousands of people who feel computing should stay open and free work their asses off to produce free alternatives, and that those who choose not to pay for software should look there, rather than rationalising stealing from Microsoft with "yeah but theyre a big corporation and theyre evil" and taking what they want.
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Old June 21 2009, 02:12 AM   #25
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

I don't think it's about "Microsoft is EVILLL so we'll just steal it".

Basically, you've got two groups of consumer pirates:

One, the group that knows what it is and continues regardless. Some of their reasons are valid, some of them are not. You can't expect webdesign students, for example, to pay for software they need for their education but can't buy at reasonable prices. These are also the people who download music and movies to watch and buy the dvd/cd when they like them. It's all about how much something is worth to them. This group is usually under 30.

The other group is the novice. Someone told them about downloading or they found out themselves. And from that moment on, they've been downloading. They don't realize they're stealing someone's bread. They don't see it as a "real" product, since it doesn't come with something physical they can hold in their hands. And, in their minds, you pay for something physical, not something virtual. This group is usually 30+.

The first you can do something about. Make stuff cheaper; people will want it regardless, but if it doesn't cost them a few month's worth of rent, it'll be a lot easier to buy. € 25,- for a CD you only like two tracks of? € 20,- for a DVD you only watch once? € 200,- for a software license for a single program they can use without paying, anyway? It simply doesn't weigh up, in their minds.

The second group you can't do anything about. It's not just software, it's every virtual product, and not necessarily only at home. Clients don't understand why rigorous testing is needed; it's impossibly bug free or in their minds you've simply done it wrong. They don't understand why simply filling a website with content takes so much time. They don't understand why a business identity takes so much iterations in the concept phase; why a logo isn't simply a few scribbled lines and presto. They don't understand anything that's not physical. I see it all the time. You can't do much about this group, I'm afraid.
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Old June 21 2009, 02:40 AM   #26
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

When I first got my laptop it came with Windows Vista on an 80g HD and 512 ram. I know, scary. I tried switching to Ubuntu and as someone else mentioned I had the driver problem. Downgrading to XP also had a similar driver problem. Now I will say one thing for ubuntu. I recently tried it again and it was able to find, and self install the missing drivers. With XP, i had to hunt them down, but I did manage to fine usable drivers. So as far as normal person usability, I do think open source alternatives are getting better.
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Old June 21 2009, 02:44 AM   #27
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

DiSiLLUSiON wrote: View Post
Jadzia wrote: View Post
I think that's quite true even though I've never thought of it like that before. I think of my own software skill as more akin with design than development, although I interweave these two forms of thought quite consistently in my opinion.

I'd say I'm more intuitive than logical: I like software to be intuitive. If it doesn't feel intuitive to use then it's a recipe for fail. Then I am frowned at by programmers when I'm keenly promoting the use of non-standard methodologies and ignoring explicit guidelines, even though I know the result will produce a more natural result for end users. That's not to say my ideas are logically unsound however.
Those qualities usually make for a good software developer. Who is, correct me if I'm wrong, often overruled by the other members in the team.
Heh. My own approach is still in flux----I keep encountering new methodologies and libraries. Some I incorporate into my own style, some I disregard.

The team I work with is 3 people. The other two are PhDs. One is the lead "idea guy" who understands the algorithms on a deep level, and the other is a math whiz. I feel I'm a better software engineer than both of them in many ways.

Now, to give credit---the math guy writes great code. Really great code. He can eek out every little scrap of performance from his C code, and it's generally light on errors. However, the interface has all the problems of C---lack of type safety, need for manual cleanup of resources, etc. Plus I find it next to unreadable. Even when I know what it's supposed to be doing I have difficulty following it sometimes. Good luck to anyone trying to maintain it after him! (That's less of a problem in research than in production code, of course.)

My code---which has evolved in the direction of high-level, STL- and Boost-based C++ lately---I try to keep much more obvious. I'm not always successful; and if you don't know the nuances of STL, the fact that I wrote a program in 3 lines rather than 30 might not make its function more obvious. But it runs nearly as fast when optimized, and segfaults are far less common than they once were for me as a result.

An example: I encountered a kid on a forum somewhere who had an assignment to write a program to take two lists of words, and see which words on one list were anagrams of any word on the other list. He had hundreds of lines of code written to accomplish the task. Using a couple of STL containers and the fact that anagrams have the same letter frequency histogram, I showed him how to write the same program in about 5 lines.
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Old June 21 2009, 09:47 AM   #28
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

USS KG5 wrote: View Post
GodBen wrote: View Post
I agree that software piracy is wrong and it is good to have an open source alternative to Windows, but for the majority of people Windows is too complex to understand, those people haven't a hope trying to understand Linux.
Most of those people will of course buy a PC with an OEM license of Windows on it - for some reason it seems to be the more computer literate who are more prone to piracy.
I think the reason for that is more computer literate people are likely to want to try out a lot of different things and see what works best, and if you bought a licensed copy of everything you wanted to try you'd be millions out of pocket just trying things out.
I know a lot of things have trial versions but they're either crippled in some way, come with add ons that throw advertising at you, or not readily available on a lot of things.
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Old June 21 2009, 11:18 AM   #29
USS KG5
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

DiSiLLUSiON wrote: View Post
I don't think it's about "Microsoft is EVILLL so we'll just steal it".
That is the justification many people use, believe it or not.

One, the group that knows what it is and continues regardless. Some of their reasons are valid, some of them are not. You can't expect webdesign students, for example, to pay for software they need for their education but can't buy at reasonable prices. These are also the people who download music and movies to watch and buy the dvd/cd when they like them. It's all about how much something is worth to them. This group is usually under 30.
Well those reasons might be valid to you, and maybe to me as well, but they are not to the industry or to the strict rule of civil law.

One might argue, quite rightly, that education is expensive and that web design students should pay for software (which is often available in cheap student editions) the same as they do for any other aspect (like accomodation) as it is an investment in their future.

As for the old "if I like it I will buy it argument I will admit to using it myself, but it is pretty weak at times, the industry does of course charge for a "watch once" experience for the first year or two of release, either directly through cinema tickets or indirectly through subscriptions. Who decides all of a sudden the "watch once" experience should be free?

The other group is the novice. Someone told them about downloading or they found out themselves. And from that moment on, they've been downloading. They don't realize they're stealing someone's bread. They don't see it as a "real" product, since it doesn't come with something physical they can hold in their hands. And, in their minds, you pay for something physical, not something virtual. This group is usually 30+.
Sorry I don't buy this AT ALL. The news is constantly full of "downloading is illegal" puff, and every DVD and CD carries dire warnings. You would have to be very isolated or very dim to have missed the controversy.

The first you can do something about. Make stuff cheaper; people will want it regardless, but if it doesn't cost them a few month's worth of rent, it'll be a lot easier to buy. € 25,- for a CD you only like two tracks of? € 20,- for a DVD you only watch once? € 200,- for a software license for a single program they can use without paying, anyway? It simply doesn't weigh up, in their minds.
Agreed to an extent, though certainly in the UK this has happened, for example a CD before all this started could cost £14, now they are usually £9 or less, and in real terms of course even less with inflation.

The second group you can't do anything about. It's not just software, it's every virtual product, and not necessarily only at home. Clients don't understand why rigorous testing is needed; it's impossibly bug free or in their minds you've simply done it wrong. They don't understand why simply filling a website with content takes so much time. They don't understand why a business identity takes so much iterations in the concept phase; why a logo isn't simply a few scribbled lines and presto. They don't understand anything that's not physical. I see it all the time. You can't do much about this group, I'm afraid.
Well overall I think you need a big does of education, a big dose of carrot and a minimal amount of stick, which hopefully is the balance being discovered right now - time will tell.
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Old June 24 2009, 03:42 PM   #30
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Re: Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

Jadzia wrote: View Post
What ReactOS proves I think is that new operating systems don't need to make all those hardware demands. Consider that ReactOS runs much like windows 98 does on a pentium 1, but it runs like lightning on a modern i7.

Isn't that the kind of future we want for operating systems? The alternative is in 20 years time the state of the art OS will be demanding a minimum of 1TB of main memory, 10TB hard disk space minimum, and it still runs sluggish on a 3GHz x1000 core 128-bit processor.
I'm intrigued. Right now I'm running a new MacBook Pro with an XP virtual machine mainly so I can continue to run my Quicken and Dreamweaver. I already owned the XP license and am not all that interested in moving to Windows 7 when XP is no longer supported. I agree with you that the hardware demands made by mainstream OS systems are just ridiculous. I'd rather save my resources for my software programs.

Anyway, I now plan on keeping an eye on ReactOS for when I need it.
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