Re: muLinux and LinuxJournal (or: pro-linuxers & pro-windowsers)

From: winsor (
Date: Fri Apr 07 2000 - 19:22:08 CEST

sorry for dissecting this post*grin*

Sabino Maggi wrote:
> I LOVE this debate!
> I would first like to reply to a short sentence from Pat:
> > Well, if your colleague think linux is bad because of the mouse
> > cursor, there is nothing else to do than to cry of despair,
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 different strokes

> Yes, also because you should KNOW my collegue, a completely closed-minded
> engineer (nothing against good engineers, but here at IEN it seems to me
> there is a sort of meeting of the most ... <snip> engineers in town)
> -----------------------------
> Going back to the debate about windows & linux & "how to evangelize", and
> referring to the sentence below:
> > But as soon as there is a need for the
> > user to read the documentation and to find by himself the solution, it
> > remains reserved for people that want to play with linux and not really
> > use it as a tool (is it really bad ? Who knows...).
> I think that sometimes one misses one important point. A computer is a
> tool that, differently from a tv or an auto, can be used (and it is
> actually), at many different levels.

I personally do not recommend any linux O/S to any of my truely "newbie"
windowz friends.
It's when windowz users find the limitations of windowz to be a
hinderance that I'll slippem' a set of muLinux disks or a RedHat or
slackware CD or whatever flavor of the month to experiment with.....
> The point is: if you want to write a text, to use a spreadsheet, to
> navigate the web or the like, which is exactly what most people do, tho OS
> is ininfluent; you could use anything, windows, linux, macOS, maybe even
> vms. And you actually do not need to read documentation, to learn
> anything, or at least, not more than in windows.

Yes, but if you wish to do many network related setups ie: routing,
multiple modems etc, we're forced to purchase NT at a premium price 8^P
and then read the docs on just how nt deals with these
> I am sure that nowadays, say, a secretary could just use the combination
> Linux/KDE or GNOME/StarOffice (or Applixware or WordPerfect) exactly like
> the Win9x/Office counterpart. She does not need to understand the
> underlying OS, the regular expressions, and the like. She could even not
> understand she is not using Windows... The only important thing in this
> case is to have a good program for the task at hand, that does not crash
> every two hours, and -- also -- to be able to generate files that can be
> easily shared with collegues and used on other machines and/or operating
> systems.
> The problem with windows and many applications for windows is that they do
> not satisfy these requirements: the programs are buggy and crash very
> easily, the files are not simple text files but binary files that can be
> only read just by almost exactly the same program.

AMEN to this point, although windowz doesn't "crash that much:)" if
properly setup, buggy programs are the result of sloppy programming, and
production deadlines, not the base O/S itself.

> On the other hand, Linux/Unix files are plain text files, and for instance
> I can write a paper in LaTeX on my Sparc IPX machine (I love it), bring
> the file home and continue editing on my Debian PC system or even use a
> version of LaTeX for windows 3.11 on my ancient 386 notebook. Just the
> same file, the same commands. The same everything. Ten years from now
> maybe LaTeX does not exist anymore, however I will still be able to open
> my file in a text editor, loosing the formatting but keeping the text and
> the essential information... THIS is power and user-friendliness.

In muLinux half the O/S is comprised of plain text files*grin*
> For power users... Well, this is a different thing. Here I strongly
> believe Linux wins win hands-off. And the problems about documentation,
> learning curve and the like are absolutely ininfluent here, because, to be
> a power user, well, you are compelled to learn many things, either with
> windows or Linux.

 As a further testament to this point I'd like to add that although
muLinux is a bit "script-centric",(which is good)
It teaches new users about navigating a "unice style" O/S, not just
muLinux itself.
This is valuable whether one decides to move on to full distributions,
or even tinker with the hundreds of other tiny distributions..after all
muLinux is redhat is debian is slackware is SCO etc,etc,etc
The "base system" is for the most part the same...only the frosting on
top changes.
When one learns to drive a car one does not learn to drive a Ford or
Fiat, one merely learns to drive a car:)

> I'd very glad to read other opinions.
> Cheers
> -- Sabino

The more I use Linux, the harder Windows becomes to use. Point and click
software is too restrictive and difficult to do anything productive
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