Old 15th June 2006, 20:59   #1
Omega X
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Mr. Gates leaves the building...

http://news.com.com/2100-1014_3-6084...4396&subj=news
-----------------------------------

Gates stepping down from full-time Microsoft role

By Scott Ard
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: June 15, 2006, 1:35 PM PDT
Last modified: June 15, 2006, 1:42 PM PDT

Bill Gates is transitioning out from his full-time role at Microsoft, the software giant that that has been under pressure due to a sagging stock price, competition from Google and nagging delays in the Vista operating system.

In a press conference held Thursday after the stock markets had closed for regular trading, Gates announced that over the next two years he will gradually step away from his daily responsibilities at the company he co-founded some 30 years ago. Microsoft's Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie will immediately assume the title of chief software architect, Gates said.
Bill Gates Bill Gates

"Our business and technical leadership has never been stronger, and Microsoft is well-positioned for success in the years ahead," Gates said in a release. "I feel very fortunate to have such great technical leaders like Ray and Craig at the company," Gates said. "I remain fully committed and full time at Microsoft through June 2008 and will be working side by side with Ray and Craig to ensure that a smooth transition occurs."
-----------------------

I wonder If he will put another Balmer nut in that seat.
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Old 15th June 2006, 22:38   #2
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Woah Bill.


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Old 16th June 2006, 00:47   #3
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Shit, I'd have left long ago to play a couple rounds of golf or something.

By the way, Gates haters need to STFU seeing as how he's donate more money to charity than all of us will ever earn combined.
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Old 16th June 2006, 02:39   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElChevelle
By the way, Gates haters need to STFU seeing as how he's donate more money to charity than all of us will ever earn combined.
They're called tax deductions. Give to charity instead of Uncle Sam. One can give to the charity of their choice and look real good in the public eye when in reality they are just paying their taxes like everyone else. It's not a bad thing since the government will just waste the money but it's not as glorious as people might think.

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Old 16th June 2006, 10:46   #5
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Yea, it is.
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Old 16th June 2006, 15:34   #6
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Well, look at what his foundation is aiming for...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%2...tes_Foundation

Quote:
The foundation's grants have provided funds for underrepresented minority college scholarships, AIDS prevention, diseases that strike mainly in the Third World, and other causes. The Foundation currently provides 17% (US$86 million in 2006) of the world budget for the attempted eradication of poliomyelitis (polio). In June 1999, Gates and his wife donated US$5 billion to the foundation. They have donated more than US$100 million to help children suffering from AIDS. On January 26, 2005, it was announced that the Foundation had made a further contribution of US$750 million to the international Vaccine Fund to help fight diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, poliomyelitis and yellow fever. As of 2006, the foundation has an endowment of approximately US$26.9 billion. To maintain its status as a charitable foundation, it must donate at least 5% of its assets each year. Thus the donations from the foundation each year would amount to over $1 billion at a minimum.

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Old 16th June 2006, 23:17   #7
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He forgot world peace

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Old 17th June 2006, 00:27   #8
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And all that charity is a bad thing and no rich, white mother fucker should do it?
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Old 17th June 2006, 08:27   #9
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It'll be interesting to see what direction MS takes things in with Ozzie as CSA.

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Old 18th June 2006, 00:45   #10
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Hey, it's not Gates I hate, it's Microsoft.

As the release date for Longhorn, or Vista, or whatever they're calling it now gets pushed back yet again, and after Microsoft stock took a well-publicized beating recently, it's easy to wonder if Gates is bailing because he doesn't want to preside over the inevitable overthrow. That's just a cynical Linux geek's interpretation, but I've got anecdotal evidence that things are changing. A local computer shop where no one knew anything about Linux a few years back now sells Tux t-shirts. Out there in the big wide non-geek world, almost no one ever asks me "What's Linux?" anymore.

When will we reach the tipping point? Two years? Six years? Ten years?
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Old 18th June 2006, 02:44   #11
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Ten's more likely than six is more likely than two. Two's extremely unlikely because there's still some catch-up being played before serious market share can be gained. Six is unlikely because a significant number of high-profile businesses will need to switch before it becomes profitable to design for the desktop on the system.

I doubt there will be a tipping point. MS make good software, as little as people like to believe it. Linux is not gaining because Windows is particularly bad, but because Linux is good, and because it's cheaper to purchase (generally being free).

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Old 21st June 2006, 08:29   #12
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Ten years seems like a safe bet to me; consider where Linux was ten years ago... but maybe it'll be twelve years, or fourteen, or twenty? It doesn't really matter, does it? I wouldn't bet on never... unless Windows actually comes up with something new and useful. Windows isn't going to be number one forever just because it's number one now, which is pretty much the only advantage I can see right now.

Hey, I can't see the future, and you can't see the future, but the question that I was asking is: what does Bill Gates see?

I don't know the answer, but his departure at this particular moment seems to suggest a kind of resignation... at least to me, anyway, but I have my bias, which I've tried to be upfront about.

I'd like to add that it's not all about market share. It's also about technology. Has Windows come up with a REAL 64 bit operating system yet? Somebody tell me; I honestly don't know. There's no denying that for a while anyway, they were seriously behind the curve on that. The idea that Windows is more sophisticated is a myth that a lot of people have believed for a long time, but the edge that Linux has held in 64 bit is an example of the kind of occurence that will put the lie to the myth, bit by bit.

Only one thing is certain, and that is that Linux isn't going away. Linux is not a business, so it can't go out of business. It doesn't need any market share to survive. It's going to be here long enough to see many many changes, and things do change.
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Old 21st June 2006, 11:02   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Ten years seems like a safe bet to me; consider where Linux was ten years ago... but maybe it'll be twelve years, or fourteen, or twenty? It doesn't really matter, does it? I wouldn't bet on never... unless Windows actually comes up with something new and useful. Windows isn't going to be number one forever just because it's number one now, which is pretty much the only advantage I can see right now.
It still has a considerable usability advantage, and Vista is functionally more advanced than any Linux windowing system. .NET (especially with WinFX) is also a considerably better developer platform for desktop applications than anything available on *nix.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I don't know the answer, but his departure at this particular moment seems to suggest a kind of resignation... at least to me, anyway, but I have my bias, which I've tried to be upfront about.
I have to say, I do think it is your bias. He couldn't remain in direct charge of the technology itself forever, and he has other responsibilities. Nothing about this says "resignation" to me.

I do think that desktop systems are nearing the perfection of their current model. There's not a hell of a lot more that can be done in our current OS model that isn't done in OSX or Vista. Technology is moving away from the desktop, and making the OS less and less important. This, if anything, is what will make Linux more viable on the desktop.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Has Windows come up with a REAL 64 bit operating system yet?
XP x64 has been available for a while. There's less driver support but that's not Microsoft's responsibility. Vista has a pure 64-bit version. 64-bit systems are not hugely functionally different to 32-bit ones.

There's been 64-bit Windows Server OSs for longer, and they work fine.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Only one thing is certain, and that is that Linux isn't going away. Linux is not a business, so it can't go out of business. It doesn't need any market share to survive. It's going to be here long enough to see many many changes, and things do change.
Well, yes. I just see too many people resting on laurels which don't exist. I also have a few problems with some of the implementation things in Linux desktops, but that's not really so important.

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Old 21st June 2006, 15:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by zootm
It still has a considerable usability advantage, and Vista is functionally more advanced than any Linux windowing system. .NET (especially with WinFX) is also a considerably better developer platform for desktop applications than anything available on *nix.
zootm, I'm usually on track with your understanding od software, and I understand why you seem to stand in for MS so often, but how can you promote a feature that we won't see for another couple of years? WinFX probably won't be public until we get a server version of Vista, which is usually a couple years.


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Old 21st June 2006, 18:02   #15
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WinFX runtime components are included in Vista - they're in the current beta. I'm not sure if the whole of .NET 3.0 will be out by then, but WPF (which, to be fair, is what I was mostly talking about and what I should have said) will be.

Edit:
Found from an official source:
Quote:
The .NET Framework 3.0 will still ship with Windows Vista, and will be available down-level for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as planned. This change doesn’t affect in any way the ship schedules of either Windows Vista or the .NET Framework 3.0 itself.

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Old 21st June 2006, 22:29   #16
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Vista is "functionally more advanced?" But isn't it still a beta? How can something be more advanced and still not be finished? Better how?

Don't answer; I really don't care. I'm not a developer, and I'm not even sure what "development platform" means. Maybe it really is better than having freely available source code. I'm not convinced, but to be honest, I don't know enough for you to convince me. Call that a draw.

I'll gladly concede that speculating about the mind of Mr. Gates, while amusing, is pointless and obviously bound to be inconclusive.

I'll also agree that Windows has considerable usability advantages over Linux. I came to Linux from a very limited technical background, no unix and not much windows and geez louise it was a struggle for a long time BUT...

...it's my position that very little of this is based on the technology. About 75 per cent is cultural. If Linux were as ubiquitous as Windows is now, if you could get help at your computer shop, if the people around you knew how to use it, if good drivers for video cards other than nVidia were available, along with popular gaming software... and, above all, if computers were readily available with Linux preinstalled, I don't think it would be all that much of a problem. I know of lots of Linux dudes whose completely unschooled wives now use Linux at the GUI level for all the basic things that millions of people use computers for, without hardly noticing any difference... once the system gets set up.

Not all, but most of the usability advantage that Windows enjoys could crumble very quickly if Windows is widely perceived as being behind the curve. In the case of 64 bit, the perception has been out there, regardless of what the truth is, and it's been out there for a while. We all know that myths and misconcpetions abound. To be honest, they probably abound on all sides... but whatever the reality, the perception is changing, and perception, in the end, is what is going to drive reality.

To be honest, I don't care whether Linux overtakes Windows, so long as it becomes respected and decently supported. Mention Linux to a support person at Verizon, and you'll get the feeling that you're the first person to ever use the word to anyone in the entire organization. I don't know if their partnership with Microsoft has anything to do with it (MSN is distributed with verizon's DSL software) but it's definitely bullshit. It's why I'm not with them any more. They can take the trouble to set up a webpage with some Linux FAQs, or they can get by without my money.

The important issue is choice, and that war is over. MS may enjoy the market advantage for years to come, but the Microsoft monopoly is dead forever. And that's good for everyone, including Windows users.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 08:14   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Vista is "functionally more advanced?" But isn't it still a beta? How can something be more advanced and still not be finished? Better how?
It does more things, better? I don't understand the question?

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Don't answer; I really don't care. I'm not a developer, and I'm not even sure what "development platform" means. Maybe it really is better than having freely available source code. I'm not convinced, but to be honest, I don't know enough for you to convince me. Call that a draw.
Ignorance is not an excuse for arguing against that which you know little. By development platform I'm referring to .NET and its supporting libraries. Mono is a good project, but it is behind, and has no equivalent of the stuff in .NET 3.0.

The development platform I refer to is that they provide tools and a platform which makes it easier for developers to provide functional, reliable, attractive product, quickly. The advantage of this is obvious.

The current downside, as I should mention, is that some of the new .NET stuff is not cross-platform (although CLI and C# themselves are), and are essentially new Windows APIs (although they are written in a reasonably agnostic way). Writing cross-platform code is difficult in any situation.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
To be honest, I don't care whether Linux overtakes Windows, so long as it becomes respected and decently supported. Mention Linux to a support person at Verizon, and you'll get the feeling that you're the first person to ever use the word to anyone in the entire organization. I don't know if their partnership with Microsoft has anything to do with it (MSN is distributed with verizon's DSL software) but it's definitely bullshit. It's why I'm not with them any more. They can take the trouble to set up a webpage with some Linux FAQs, or they can get by without my money.
The fact is that most people using Linux know what they're doing already. It's not cost-effective for them to support, as heartless as that seems.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
The important issue is choice, and that war is over. MS may enjoy the market advantage for years to come, but the Microsoft monopoly is dead forever. And that's good for everyone, including Windows users.
I agree with that.

shakey_snake - I just realised you must've thought I was talking about WinFS, rather than WinFX... that's probably part of the reason WinFX got renamed to .NET 3.0...

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Old 22nd June 2006, 08:25   #18
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BAH good catch.


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Old 22nd June 2006, 17:37   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by zootm
It does more things, better? I don't understand the question?


Ignorance is not an excuse for arguing against that which you know little.
Well, didn't I opt out of that part of the arguement for exactly that reason? Although, maybe the WAY I did it was a little loaded. That was sort of the way that it came out, sorry.

I suspect that ignorance is rampant on this whole subject. I can't imagine that there are many people who really understand ALL the intricacies of BOTH operating systems, though you may be one of the few. I'm definitely not.

At this point, the only thing I really disagree with you about are those anti-net-neutrality-lobbying bastards at Verizon. Having dealt with them, I can assure you that it would cost them little to be a little more accomodating. I've actually had someone with Verizon ask me if Linux was a Windows operating system! Assuming these people have any kind of training at all, a couple of sentences added to the manual could counter this kind of stupidity.

I want to dig a little deeper on the issue of "usability", though I suspect it's going to take me far afield of the issue at hand. Natively, it's a pretty broad word, but in this context, it tends to refer to the unschooled lay person. When we speak of "user-friendly", we're really thinking about a specific kind of user. "User-friendly" almost always means the gui, but anyone who has experience with the command line knows that it can actually be a lot faster, easier, more flexible and more powerful... and that's ANOTHER kind of usability advantage. Best of all is the ability to choose whether to use the gui or the command line... moment by moment, task by task. Of course, I also like the ability to choose my desktop gui, and to customize my desktop GUI...

I started with Linux for political reasons, after reading in this very forum , four years ago, about what Microsoft then referred to as the Palladium project, and became aware of the political power that comes with corporate control of everybody's operating system. I came to love Linux for reasons that fall squarely under the umbrella of "usability".

Like I always say, it's a pain in the ass to learn, a joy to run.

P.S. I love revisiting that palladium thread. One can rarely find such a clear record of their moments of decision. Thanks to winamp.com, I can always revisit August 14, 2002, the day my life changed forever, and so can you.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
As for myself, I have decided: f**k Microsoft. (Hey there's something wrong with my keyboard, let me try that again FUCK MICROSOFT! (There, that's better.) Lately, I've been thinking of dabbling in Linux, but now I'm planning on making Mandrake Linux my primary OS, the sooner the better.
I sent Microsoft a farewell email that very same evening.

Last edited by spiderbaby1958; 22nd June 2006 at 18:00.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 17:52   #20
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Well, didn't I opt out of that part of the arguement for exactly that reason? Although, maybe the WAY I did it was a little loaded. That was sort of the way that it came out, sorry.
Yeah, I kinda took it too seriously.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I suspect that ignorance is rampant on this whole subject. I can't imagine that there are many people who really understand ALL the intricacies of BOTH operating systems, though you may be one of the few. I'm definitely not.
I'm not. But I understand enough to compare the systems.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
At this point, the only thing I really disagree with you about are those anti-net-neutrality-lobbying bastards at Verizon. Having dealt with them, I can assure you that it would cost them little to be a little more accomodating. I've actually had someone with Verizon ask me if Linux was a Windows operating system! Assuming these people have any kind of training at all, a couple of sentences added to the manual could counter this kind of stupidity.
I dunno, I just can't see it being worth their while considering how complex Linux is to support (how many distributions? how many kernels? and the hardware support varies wildly between kernel revisions, you say?).

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I want to dig a little deeper on the issue of "usability", though I suspect it's going to take me far afield of the issue at hand. Natively, it's a pretty broad word, but in this context, it tends to refer to the unschooled lay person. When we speak of "user-friendly", we're really thinking about a specific kind of user. "User-friendly" almost always means the gui, but anyone who has experience with the command line knows that it can actually be a lot faster, easier, more flexible and more powerful... and that's ANOTHER kind of usability advantage. Best of all is the ability to choose whether to use the gui or the command line... moment by moment, task by task. Of course, I also like the ability to choose my desktop gui, and to customize my desktop GUI...
I can probably point you in some interesting directions if you want to learn about usability. As for "command line usability", that's not really the type that is generally gauged.

Generally speaking, learnability is used as a judge of usability, as well as a few other things. The flexibility of command-line interfaces isn't so much a usability advantage as one might think. Shell interfaces (especially Bourne-derived ones with the *nix tools) are very good at manipulating textual data, but a desktop user should never have to do this.

Having the command line as a backup, or for advanced tasks is an advantage. Requiring the command line for almost any task is lunacy, though, on a GUI system.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I started with Linux for political reasons, after reading IN THIS VERY FORUM, four years ago, about what Microsoft then referred to as the Palladium project, and became aware of the political power that comes with corproate control of everybody's operating system. I came to love Linux for reasons that fall squarely under the umbrella of "usability".
If Linux suits you, it suits you. This post is coming from my Ubuntu machine, which I love a lot (although it's less stable than my XP desktop, and I'm not doing anything particularly "funny" to it - I've had to restart X a couple of times). I'm in no way biased against Linux, it just has a few things it needs to work out. There's also some philisophical issues making Linux impractical from time to time.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Like I always say, it's a pain in the ass to learn, a joy to run.
Most people don't want to have to learn first, though. A car whose engineering to be learned before you could drive it would only be of use to enthusiasts.

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Old 22nd June 2006, 18:40   #21
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Well, I think we've really gotten into hair splitting, but, what the hell, I'm up for it if you are. I'm not sure that we're even arguing any more, but I'm vastly interested in the subject and so are you.

I agree with almost everything you say BUT let me get back to my earlier point of technical advantages vs. cultural advantage. Soemwhere, in an alternate reality, you can buy your computer with Linux already installed, you turn it on and gnome comes up. You surf, print, word-process, scan, all the usual stuff. You can buy Doom III for Linux, your graphics card manufacturer has a decent proprietary driver.

All of the differences between this alternate reality and our reality are cultural, not technical, which means that they are real, but could change quickly if the market changes. If some major manufacturer of hardware decides to offer an entire line with Linux preinstalled, and to pass the savings on to the consumer, we could be living an alternate reality fairly quickly.

I don't like the sports car analogy. You don't need a lot of special knowledge to run Linux, only to run it at its highest efficiency. Desktop Linux continues to develop. You don't really need the command line for much of anything, especially with a distro like SUSE, where administration can be handled neatly from the YAST gui.

I also maintain that there's not a lot knowledge required to learn Linux, but unless you're the kind of mutant geek who ENJOYS reading computer manuals, the knowledge can be hard to come by. As more people become Linux literate, that's going to change. It was easy for me to learn Windows, because I was surrounded by people who knew how to run it. I could ask questions and get simple answers.

Of course, you're right about what people want, and I understand that, but you can't blame me for trying to raise awareness about the advantages of getting a little mastery. To me, a better analogy than a sports car is learning a foreign language, or a musical instrument. The hard work comes first, the reward comes later, and there's no telling where it can take you.

Does Linux suit me? It does now. Until I did the work, it most certainly did not.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 19:23   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Well, I think we've really gotten into hair splitting, but, what the hell, I'm up for it if you are. I'm not sure that we're even arguing any more, but I'm vastly interested in the subject and so are you.
I don't really have an interest in arguing with you unless you say something I directly disagree with.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I agree with almost everything you say BUT let me get back to my earlier point of technical advantages vs. cultural advantage. Soemwhere, in an alternate reality, you can buy your computer with Linux already installed, you turn it on and gnome comes up. You surf, print, word-process, scan, all the usual stuff. You can buy Doom III for Linux, your graphics card manufacturer has a decent proprietary driver.
Doom III is already available for Linux.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
All of the differences between this alternate reality and our reality are cultural, not technical, which means that they are real, but could change quickly if the market changes. If some major manufacturer of hardware decides to offer an entire line with Linux preinstalled, and to pass the savings on to the consumer, we could be living an alternate reality fairly quickly.
There's actually a licencing issue with proprietary drivers in Linux. Because of the kernel's monolithic architecture, proprietary graphics drivers are basically forbidden through the GPL. NVidia get past this by having a small open-source component that integrates with the kernel and allows it to talk to the main driver. It's a strange implementation issue though.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I don't like the sports car analogy. You don't need a lot of special knowledge to run Linux, only to run it at its highest efficiency. Desktop Linux continues to develop. You don't really need the command line for much of anything, especially with a distro like SUSE, where administration can be handled neatly from the YAST gui.
I was trying more to be analogous to older systems where command-line interaction was frequently (or even occasionally) required. Distributions are getting a lot better with this lately.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I also maintain that there's not a lot knowledge required to learn Linux, but unless you're the kind of mutant geek who ENJOYS reading computer manuals, the knowledge can be hard to come by. As more people become Linux literate, that's going to change. It was easy for me to learn Windows, because I was surrounded by people who knew how to run it. I could ask questions and get simple answers.
Basically, Linux should "just work". GNOME is nearing this, I feel. If I download an "installer", I want to be able to click it and have it install. Dropping to terminal and typing (for example) dpkg -i filename is not ideal. This is fixed in the new Ubuntu.

There's no reason, for most tasks, to require people to have specific Linux knowledge. A system does not have to be very much like Windows for people to be able to migrate to it easily - I think OSX shows this fairly well.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Of course, you're right about what people want, and I understand that, but you can't blame me for trying to raise awareness about the advantages of getting a little mastery. To me, a better analogy than a sports car is learning a foreign language, or a musical instrument. The hard work comes first, the reward comes later, and there's no telling where it can take you.
You're treating computers as a hobby, though. Computers are tools. Linux has been working hard to dig itself out of the "hobbyist OS" rut, and I think it's a decent goal. Its open-source basis make it ideal for hobbyists who want to use it for that already. For most people, though, this is not a primary use.

A good example of how to "sell" computers to consumers is the presentation style of Steve Jobs. If you note, he doesn't give people technical specifications, and he doesn't talk about what the software is. He will concentrate on what the software will do for you. How it will affect the way you work or spend your leisure time. A lot of us geeks don't get that, but that's what computers (Macs in general are a good example of this) are to people - enabling tools.

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Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Does Linux suit me? It does now. Until I did the work, it most certainly did not.
I'd say that the fact you were willing to do the work implies that it was right for you.

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Old 22nd June 2006, 20:20   #23
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Microsoft (and others) patent lawsuits are the reason we don't have the linux distro of our dreams. Much of this is that it's nearly impossible to develop multimedia systems that don't violate some patent. That means it becomes very hard to develop linux based consumer operating systems. Another problem with "open source" is that no money can be made. Some of the work to make linux a consumer reality will have to be paid for.

Things are changing. H264 video codec is an example. The licensing includes a lot of grace for small developers.

Now, weaknesses, like a lack of a proper NTFS filesystem driver, multimedia support that isn't illegal etc.... are the result of lawsuit, rather than a lack of willing and able developers.

When you consider the famous philanthropy of Gates, you also have to consider the infamous way that he got the money.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 20:48   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
Microsoft (and others) patent lawsuits are the reason we don't have the linux distro of our dreams.
Microsoft don't actually file very many patent lawsuits, and most other tech companies have at least as many patents in. It's just the way business is done.

It's wrong to single Microsoft out, though, because there's nothing in particular they have patented to prevent a good Linux desktop.

Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
Much of this is that it's nearly impossible to develop multimedia systems that don't violate some patent. That means it becomes very hard to develop linux based consumer operating systems. Another problem with "open source" is that no money can be made. Some of the work to make linux a consumer reality will have to be paid for.
This is where enterprises like Canonical (Ubuntu backers) come in. It's definately very high-risk though, yes. As for the patent things with multimedia, yes, it really sucks.

Software patents in general are a terrible concept. They're just too firmly entrenched in the US now.

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Originally posted by rockouthippie
Now, weaknesses, like a lack of a proper NTFS filesystem driver, multimedia support that isn't illegal etc.... are the result of lawsuit, rather than a lack of willing and able developers.
Lack of NTFS support is nothing to do with patents, it's just a complex filesystem with no public specification. Hell, not even the developers of Captive have been attacked, and they use Windows' own code.

Please don't blame Microsoft for software patents, they're actually not huge abusers of them, relatively speaking, although they do have a large number.

In particular the only multimedia formats they hold patents on are the Windows Media formats, which are currently not hugely widely used, except in DRM systems which can't be publically specified for obvious reasons.

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Old 25th June 2006, 19:51   #25
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WHAT???

Well, at least we're not splitting hairs anymore.

Quote:
Originally posted by zootm


You're treating computers as a hobby, though. Computers are tools. Linux has been working hard to dig itself out of the "hobbyist OS" rut, and I think it's a decent goal. Its open-source basis make it ideal for hobbyists who want to use it for that already. For most people, though, this is not a primary use.
Okay, I'm thinking that you didn't really mean to say that.

I've read more than once that the configuration known as LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) is already used by most webservers. I have no way of knowing if that's true or not, but can you dispute it? A couple of years ago, I read a report that the United States armed forces were developing a Linux PDF when a Windows-based PDF proved unreliable. Of course, it's sort of a cliche to mention that Linux machines (actually, I think that they were Linux clusters) were used to generate special effects for Titanic and the Matrix films. I've also read that Linux is running on the International Space Station. Did IBM invest a billion dollars in Linux development as a hobby?

And then there's Google, which I'm told runs off of thousands of networked Linux computers.

Really. Tell me you didn't mean to say that.

Last edited by spiderbaby1958; 25th June 2006 at 20:26.
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Old 25th June 2006, 22:37   #26
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spiderbaby, what are you arguing about? I thought the discussion was over the desktop market. The problem is the general ideaology of open source doesn't work well with mainstream. No one in the market cares that they can see the source code. The fact is they don't want to. They want it to work and with very little effort. While linux has gotten better there seems to be no organization touting it and pushing it to the market, which is what business does for technology. It provides the marketing and promotion needed to get it out there. We forget that people are still "scared" of their computers. They don't want to change what already works. To say that one OS is better then another is a completely subjective point of view.

As for the server market, look who builds and runs and maintains these systems. What do you know, a bunch of people who have the time and desire to learn them and customize them to meet their situation. This is entirely different from the desktop market.
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Old 26th June 2006, 04:21   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by KXRM
spiderbaby, what are you arguing about? I thought the discussion was over the desktop market.
Well, actually no, not anymore. Take a close look at the quote from Zootm, and my response, and I think you'll see that the desktop market isn't at all what we're talking about now. Zootm has introduced a completely different topic, i.e., the supposed efforts of Linux to "break out of the hobbyist OS rut".

We can argue about the future of the desktop, and not come to any definitive conclusion, but this is different. It's my position that there's nothing subjective about this. Empirically, it's nonsense.

It also came off a little condescending... I mean, how does Zootm know why I'm learning Linux? But never mind that. It's just plain wrong.


Quote:
As for the server market, look who builds and runs and maintains these systems. What do you know, a bunch of people who have the time and desire to learn them and customize them to meet their situation.
But are they hobbyists? Cause that's what we're talking about now.

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Old 26th June 2006, 09:15   #28
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Re: WHAT???

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Okay, I'm thinking that you didn't really mean to say that.
I meant to make clear that on the desktop it's largely a hobbyist OS. In industry it's good for servers, because it's based on the UNIX-like GNU base, and for specialist applications where they have enough onsite IT staff to customise them to their needs specifically.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
I've read more than once that the configuration known as LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) is already used by most webservers. I have no way of knowing if that's true or not, but can you dispute it? A couple of years ago, I read a report that the United States armed forces were developing a Linux PDF when a Windows-based PDF proved unreliable. Of course, it's sort of a cliche to mention that Linux machines (actually, I think that they were Linux clusters) were used to generate special effects for Titanic and the Matrix films. I've also read that Linux is running on the International Space Station. Did IBM invest a billion dollars in Linux development as a hobby?
All either specialist purposes or server applications. Also, LAMP counts for Perl and Python as well as PHP now. Which is good because PHP's a bit wank.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
And then there's Google, which I'm told runs off of thousands of networked Linux computers.
Yes, and they use very little non-specialist software at all.

Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
Really. Tell me you didn't mean to say that.
Hopefully the clarification has helped.

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Old 26th June 2006, 12:56   #29
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Absolutely, that helps.

How could this not end in a clarification? You knew better, and I knew you knew better. Whether you didn't say what you meant or I didn't hear what you said is beside the point. It's entirely possible that I took you out of context, but the literal meaning of your words was too objectionable for me to not object.

At this point, I may have spent as much time learning Linux as I spent pursuing my major in college. By now, I should probably know more than I do, but it is what it is. I came from a completely nontechnical background, have been diagnosed with ADHD, and reading a computer manual is a long long struggle for me. I hope and believe that all of my difficulties may give me a valuble perspective that I can eventually bring to the Linux community as an educator. As I have said many times, my expertise is in not being an expert.

I am hugely invested in this, and so there is a point at which I will bristle, and with no apologies. The future of the desktop, etc., well, that's just verbal hackeysack... but imagine if you had thought someone had suggested that your college major was a hobby.

And that moderator guy, he totally missed the point. Not that missing the point is such terrible thing, we all do it.

Last edited by spiderbaby1958; 26th June 2006 at 13:35.
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Old 26th June 2006, 14:57   #30
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what difference does it make what someone's opinion of linux is? If you feel differently then go forth and continue taking on whatever challenges you feel need to be taken on. I am certainly open to hearing "what your point is".

My career is completely based on a hobby so why is this such a bad thing?
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Old 26th June 2006, 15:17   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by KXRM
My career is completely based on a hobby so why is this such a bad thing?
Because sometimes the very qualities that make things good for a hobby make them bad in actual deployment. It's rare that they have to do this, but they can get in the way.

My career's based on a hobby too, which has kinda removed the attraction of the hobby of late. Bah.

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Old 27th June 2006, 19:38   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by KXRM
what difference does it make what someone's opinion of linux is? If you feel differently then go forth and continue taking on whatever challenges you feel need to be taken on. I am certainly open to hearing "what your point is".

My career is completely based on a hobby so why is this such a bad thing?
When I said that you "missed the point" I was referring to my belief that the discussion was focused differently from where you believed it was, and I mentioned it so zootm would understands that some of my response was directed at you, and not at him. Unfortunately, I was interrupted at just that point in the posting. This is why the post winds up so bluntly... for example, by referring to you as "that moderator guy" instead of taking the time to locate your name. I would have preferred to use a little more finesse all around, and if you felt mistreated, I apologize.

I'm sure that many, perhaps most, careers that are worth having begin as a hobby, but that's not what zootm seemed to imply in saying that Linux was "stuck in a hobbyist os rut" or whatever he actually said. I don't really think that's an opinion, I don't think it's true, and it's about something that I care about and think is important. So yes, I do have something to say about that.

But to get back to Bill Gates:

I'm getting a little tired of hearing about his recent elevation to Sainthood, but God bless him, if anyone deserves to be the richest man in the world, it may be him. As crazy as I am for Linux, would I be using Linux today if I hadn't used Windows first? He's a man of vision who seeks to change the world, and has changed the world.

Of course, I consider myself to also be a man of vision, so I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that he sees what I see, which is that open source will win because it has all the time it needs to win. There will be a tipping point (I believe). Whether it comes two years of ten years or forty years from now, I cannot predict, but if Gates sees what I see, he sees that the drive to shape the world through software is going to be curtailed, limited. It's not that he's failed... hell, no! But it's run its course, and he's losing interest. Microsoft may be a major competitor, a contender, a player, an industry leader for generations to come, but for a brief moment it was none of those things. It was, simply, the game.

To speak of his latest move as "a resignation" may be not quite accurate (although he is resigning, right?) He's just moving on, and in many ways he's broadening his vision.

Last night, I saw him on Charlie Rose with his wife. By the way, Melinda strikes me as a classy lady. A lot of guys with that kind of money have done a lot worse. She's no Anna Nicole Smith.

Last edited by spiderbaby1958; 27th June 2006 at 20:32.
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Old 27th June 2006, 20:15   #33
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oops! Could someone please delete this post?
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Old 28th June 2006, 07:42   #34
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I consider quite a few of MS's current business practices somewhat unethical. There is a deffinate monopoly with Windows and Office- both of which are amazingly expensive. Why not drop the price?

L J
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Old 28th June 2006, 13:24   #35
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Because they're a business and that would be stupid.


elevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladylevitateme
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Old 28th June 2006, 14:14   #36
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You set the price at the level that people will pay for it. That's just good sense.

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Old 28th June 2006, 18:39   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by spiderbaby1958
But to get back to Bill Gates:

I'm getting a little tired of hearing about his recent elevation to Sainthood, but God bless him, if anyone deserves to be the richest man in the world, it may be him. As crazy as I am for Linux, would I be using Linux today if I hadn't used Windows first? He's a man of vision who seeks to change the world, and has changed the world.
Wow, I never thought I'd hear a linux fan boy say something like that. Bravo.
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Old 15th July 2006, 13:56   #38
spiderbaby1958
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Quote:
Originally posted by Colonel Sanders
I consider quite a few of MS's current business practices somewhat unethical. There is a deffinate monopoly with Windows and Office- both of which are amazingly expensive. Why not drop the price?

L J
At this point, unless you're a gamer, I'd have to say that if you pay Microsoft's prices, it's your own damn fault.

There's arguably still a monopoly with Windows, but only if you want to run certain games. Office no longer enjoys a monopoly, not really. OpenOffice is available as a free download, for Windows as well as Linux and Mac, and it's compatible with, among others, Microsoft's .doc format. If, like me, all you really care about is Word processing, there's ABIword, which is lighter and faster than openoffice, and also accepts the .doc format. You may even want to try the gnu text editor, emacs, which is a bitch to learn but has some amazing capabilities. (Don't know if it handles .doc or not). These open source and/or free software programs have all been ported to Windows, and are available for free, and I'd seriously give them a try before deciding whether I really need to pay for a copy of Microsoft Office.
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Old 16th July 2006, 16:14   #39
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Emacs is a text editor, not a word processor. I know they sound similar but they're worlds apart.

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Old 19th July 2006, 01:52   #40
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I just don't like the tinkering needed for Linux. I like just getting something (software or hardware), tossing it in my computer, and after a couple seconds of installation I can do what I wanted to.

When I buy software/hardware, among other things, I look at system requirements:

RAM: blah blah MB or GB
Processor: yadda yadda MHz or GHz
Operating System: Mac blah blah, Windows yadda yadda,

Linux? er, um, maybe? Perhaps if I have the right geek to pay to make adjustments it'll work after some time and work?

If Linux becomes able to use in such a way that you can just get your stuff, click install, then start using, I'll be impressed enough to look into it.

Don't forget to live before you die.
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