Instead of Windows Piracy - Use Linux!

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by USS KG5, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    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.
     
  2. DiSiLLUSiON

    DiSiLLUSiON Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    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. :D
     
  3. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    England's green and pleasant land.
    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.
     
  4. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    England's green and pleasant land.
    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.
     
  5. DiSiLLUSiON

    DiSiLLUSiON Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    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.
     
  6. Kaziarl

    Kaziarl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
    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.
     
  7. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
    Location:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    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.
     
  8. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    This island Earth
    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.
     
  9. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    England's green and pleasant land.
    That is the justification many people use, believe it or not.

    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?

    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.

    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.

    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.
     
  10. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN USA
    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. :)
     
  11. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    Have to admit I'm another who keeps going back to Windows. I have little love for Microsoft and some of it's products but I still go back to them.

    I think part of is my career has pretty much revolved around support of Microsoft Products so I tend to use them more to keep my hand in.
     
  12. ZeNd

    ZeNd Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    I qualify myself an expert on this issue since I have been using both linux and windows since the win3.1 days (I forget with kernel version was around back then). Most of everything that needed to be said has already been said. A couple of points that haven't been hit yet:

    1. Despite all the gains that the linux kernal and distros have made, hardware support is still ASS. Most hardware developers don't have linux drivers or their linux drivers suck ass. Driver installations also suck ass, some are even still command line based.

    2. The dependancy hell problem is still there in linux. Trying to install open source software thats not already prepackaged (rpm, deb, etc) will INSTANTLY turn people off as soon as they run into a dependancy issue. This is never an issue for windows since everything is always delivered in precompiled binaries.

    3. The default GUIs for linux (kde/gnome/etc) still suck compared to windows out of the box. Default Aero looks a hell of a lot better than default KDE4 and default Gnome. With lots of customization KDE/gnome can potentially look better but most people will never bother.

    4. On that note. The GTK/QT/Motiff widget issue makes open source apps look non-uniform. Windows only has one widget toolkit so everything looks the same more or less.

    5. Fonts look better out of the box with windows. It also comes with better quality fonts.

    6. The linux/opensource community is FULL of elitist asshats.

    Linux will ---NEVER--- even come close to the market share windows/osx enjoys. EVER.
     
  13. Sparky

    Sparky Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta. Canuckistan
    having not read the responses.

    Linux is decent. I had it on my netbook and i tried it on my desktop but it is just never quite good enough.

    I had the latest Ubuntu 9 installed but it was still a royal fucking pain to get programs installed. I installed Windows 7 RC1 on my netbook and it runs like a fucking dream. Much faster that Ubuntu with driver support and usability that Linux could only dream of.

    Linux is pretty decent, but its not even close to being ready for prime time.
     
  14. Geckothan

    Geckothan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    People's Republic of Britainistan
    Regardless of whether GNU/Linux is ever dumbed down to the point that uneducated/stupid users can understand it, it won't be dying any time soon. It's doing just fine without desktop users, seeing as it runs a large part of the internet and stuff.
     
  15. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    England's green and pleasant land.
    EXCELLENT post - I agree with every point here and would only like to clarify....

    As Linux exists now, absolutely, as it is most likely to develop in future, absolutely.

    BUT - a new mainstream OS based on Linux which is developed by a broad alliance of the current distributors to a single standard, with the elitists sidelined in favour of people who normally favour windows, and an emphasis on fixing the problems you state above, MIGHT do very well.
     
  16. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    An Aussie in Canukistan
    I think that people sometimes forget the history of operating systems. Prior to 1981 and the advent of MS-DOS there was still no wide spead operating system uniforimity. Sure you had CP/M but that was for systems that just ran on Z80s based systems of which there were a few but there will still many proprietary systems.

    Along comes Microsoft in 1981 with MS-DOS and sells it to IBM and the world changed but here's the thing. It wasn't actually Microsoft who caused the change - it was IBM. IBM lead and the world followed. Even in those days how ever while many computers run MS-DOS and Microsoft Programs that wasn't actually the main selling point. You sold on compatiblity (hence the term dominant for some time - IBM compatible). There were many systems out there that were better than the IBMs yet failed becasue they weren't IBM compatible.

    Then IBM shot themselves in the foot with MCA and their power in the market began to accelerated it's decline (which basically began when the first Compaq shipped). Courtesy of it's the foothold it gained through the IBM deal, Microsoft began to the one where compatiblity was the issue and I guess from the release of Windows 95, IBM compatibliity was history, Windows compatability was in.

    Had Linux been around in those early days maybe things would of been different but I don't think it's going to get anywhere near as big as Windows or Apple OS X on the desktop. While there are many benefits to it's open source model it really lacks a single big company behind that can throw the weight around and really get it moving. Sure there's Redhat, IBM and there's Novell but I don't think they really have desktop market in mind. They see the server market as the point where they can really take on Microsoft.

    Doesn't mean that a Linux can't compete on the desktop. The example is given of how it can be painful without pre-build binaries & packages to mean any depedancy requirements but it some ways you still get that trying to install some Windows programs. Though I admit that it's slightly less painful with Windows but a decent package manager removes the pain.
     
  17. ZeNd

    ZeNd Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Thanks :)

    I could but wrong but in my opinion not going to happen. You would need a lot of buy in from both hardware and software developers for Linux to really thrive in the mainstream desktop community.

    There are some very good open source projects and open source tools but I'd say probably 80%+ are for experts and server applications. Apache is a good example. Linux is excellent for servers and the engineers using cad tools and it has a fairly good market share in that market. But for the mainstream desktop user? It's ass.
     
  18. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Official forum sex god

    I put Ubuntu on a 667mhz 512mb system and gave it to a friend. His first comment was how fast it ran compared to his Vista laptop. Second thing he commented on was how much stuff he could get legally, for free. Things like Office and GIMP. Recently he commented to me about how he'd been doing his online forum based RPG and he was able to find a web-page editor for free.

    There is a market for Linux amung the desktop users. It's small but it's there.

    Personally I like to use smaller versions of Linux and revamp old hardware and give it to disadvantaged folks. They aren't going to complain because it's not as "flashy" or "Chique" as other options, they are just greatful to have the chance to own a computer and do computer stuff.
     
  19. ZeNd

    ZeNd Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    That's a awesome thing for you too do and it's good to know there are people like you out there helping the disadvantaged. Still though, the market for that is very small. Keep up the good work though.
     
  20. noknowes

    noknowes Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009

    LINUX IS UNRELIABLE,

    it is command line based with weird symbols.

    i one tested it using a live cd.it was very clunky and slow.the interface had LARGE fonts which i could not reduce.
    i could not install a AOL modem.so it was useless.

    later it would not connect to internet using broadband either.

    no intuitive messages.

    pretty useless.

    I think it for people who love command line and wasting all their time on the operating system instead of doing productive work in their basement.

    it is really for idle hobbyists.

    what i have done is used a operating system that is a merger of win98/00.

    this works amazingly.
     

Share This Page