XP and Vista question
bobwarren at howsoft.com
Sat Mar 3 10:33:57 CST 2007
> > A passing suggestion: Try Ubuntu 6.0.6 LTS. It now has installers for
> > proprietary/'non-free' gfx card drivers, which used to be a bugbear
> > withe some distros.
> > If you're looking for a little more eye candy then try Kubuntu.
> > All fits on one CD, and the Synaptic Package Manager is a breeze to
> > use, although for the gfx drivers I used Envy from the terminal
> > (Install Envy via Synaptic, logout, do a Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to a
> > terminal login. Login, run envy. Does ATI and Nvidia).
> > Running sweet on a 2 year old Dell.
>Thanks to a recommendation from Phil Davis, I installed it two months
ago and have been quite happy with it. Much simpler and more well
integrated than the Red Hat installation I used to use, and cheaper than
my copy of Linspire. Right now Ubuntu is my favorite Linux by far.
Now if only we can get some of the other distro builders to stop
reinventing their wheels and contribute their resources to Ubuntu instead.
And when that happens (somewhere between the time pigs fly and when hell
freezes over) we'll have to get the Gnome and KDE teams to integrate
into a single fully kick-ass window manager.
When those two tasks are done, Linux will be well poised to kick
Microsoft's butt on the desktop at least as effectively as they've done
on the server.
My own understanding is helped by a linguistic model. Some time ago people had the idea of taking what they considered to be the "best" characteristics of the world's languages and rolling them together into a single optimized form, and what emerged was "Esperanto". It failed miserably. One reason for this could be the fact that it was not a "natural" language and that the scientists did not appreciate the complexity of linguistic mechanisms. For example, natural languages are biological products, and as such they are necessarily only half logical.
If you asked speakers of Portuguese or Bulgarian to stop wasting their
time and to speak another language instead, they would probably get
around to doing it when pigs fly or hell freezes over. But asking them
to speak a "second" language is a different matter. When I asked a taxi
driver in Amsterdam why everybody's English was so fantastically good,
he answered me with a question: "What's the use of Dutch?" Yet Dutch
shows no signs of dying in Holland.
No, a "natural" language (English) has become the second language of the
world. This was helped by the fairly large number of native speakers,
but above all it was helped by the enormously diverse distribution in
different places. (More people speak Chinese for example, but the
distribution of Chinese extends little beyond China itself.)
Ubuntu is perhaps poised to become the world's second operating system,
and it is quite well distributed already. The Ubuntu company (Canonical)
have the professionalism, the ethics and the clout. Does that mean that
Red Hat, Linspire, Puppy and the KDE interface need to die? Far from it.
I see no reason why they should not maintain their followers, their
peculiarities, and their dignity, and to continue to make their valuable
contributions and innovations. They are doing their thing! "Live and let
live" is the lemma we need to practise in my opinion.
The very last thing we want to see is another monster like Microsoft,
but such a situation could well arise again if we do not maintain the
very mechanisms Linux was designed to neutralize. I'm talking about
freedom, openness, diversity (multiple perception), clean competition,
ethics, and the like.
Talking is easy, particularly since I am not a professional programmer
with professional responsibilities. I can do what I like, when I like,
without suffering any serious consequences. But even taking into account
the much more difficult situation of the professional programmer and the
dependency he/she suffers, there is something of a drug culture
associated with the continuing usage of Windows and the enormous
reluctance to change for the better. Yes, Microsoft gained a monopoly
because Windows was the first and only operating system for PCs on the
market, but that does not totally explain the momentum of their monopoly
nowadays. Drugs pretend to be our friend, but in fact they are
unfailingly our enemy, and in they end they can even kill us. Yet when
we are dependent on a drug, even if we have the motivation to change in
some way, actually doing it is the most difficult thing in the world,
unless we have some idea of how to achieve it. In the final analysis, I
think the general secret in all of this is to stop thinking in terms of
"either/or" and to start thinking in terms of "both-and". Nobody needs
to leave Windows entirely in order to use Linux, so why use the "cold
turkey" method in alleviating oneself of this drug we call "Windows"?
No, keep it around to do the little things it is really useful for (i.e.
"exploit" it), but also investigate the exciting and creative aspects of
the promising new world known collectively as "Linux"!
Sorry, you pressed my button...
By the way, Ubuntu is entirely free. If you cannot manage to download
it, they will even send you a CD free of charge.
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