Live LiveCode Code Event looking for presenters

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Sat Jan 29 19:45:08 EST 2011

David C. wrote:

> Hi there Calvin,
> With respect to all of the "other" operating systems and their various
> adherents, if you really want a comprehensive perspective as
> described, then you need to stop "watching with interest" and start
> TRYING it for yourself. If all of the waiting and watching is based on
> popularity of brand x, then you will never know the difference. ;-)

Well said.

Long-time Mac users know how difficult it is to be taken seriously based 
on market share alone, esp. considering how much such numbers vary: says 5% of their visitors are running Linux:

Wikipedia says 1.53% worldwide:

What do those percentages mean in terms of numbers of happy people?

Gerry Carr at Canonical says there are 12 million users of Ubuntu alone:

And it looks like Red Hat is on target to make more than US$1 billion in 
revenue for 2011:

Not bad for free software. :)

Mac people should be the least concerned about what other people use, 
since here we are in 2011 at Apple's peak and we still see almost 90% of 
the world using Windows.

Use what makes you happy.

There are plenty of choices for OSes these days, and if you're thinking 
of giving Linux a spin there's a vast world of helpful support in the 
Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and other forums.   I read the Ubuntu forums 
almost daily, and have been having a great time there.

> Almost every modern Linux distro "out there" will have a Live CD for
> their offering, which means you can easily test it for yourself.
> Download the iso file, burn it to a blank CD (there's your only cost)
> and simply reboot with it in the tray.

The Ubuntu disk image can be installed on a USB drive as well, so you 
can try it out on a netbook before install.  I imagine many of the other 
popular distros have a similar option.

I keep a bootable USB drive handy for whenever I get a new machine: if 
it'll run Ubuntu off the USB, it gets partitioned right away for a 
dual-boot. :)   I have one machine that's so old it barely runs Ubuntu, 
so I switched it to Puppy and it's been running very well.  There's 
hardly any hardware out there for which you can't find a good Linux 
distro for - even ultra-tiny boxes like this one:

>>From a user experience, if you regularly watch commercial movie DVD's
> on the computer --or if-- you absolutely must run proprietary
> Windows/Mac software, -or if- you are joined at the hip with iTunes
> due of your choice in mobile devices and/or past music purchases, you
> may not like Linux very much (or at least for very long).

For licensing reasons Ubuntu doesn't ship with the proprietary codecs to 
run many commercial DVDs, but they maintain a repository where those can 
be downloaded and installed easily.  I've been able to watch DVDs well 
with that install.

The NVdia chip in my Dell blows the pants off the ATI x1600 in my 
MacBook Pro, so not only do I get smoother video performance but Google 
Earth just flies on that machine.

> Linux is certainly not for everyone, but you'll never know for sure by
> sitting and watching from the sidelines.

It's so easy to deploy to Linux using LiveCode it's almost a shame not 
to explore it for some markets, esp. for EDU software since Linux has a 
massive base in EDU throughout Europe and the developing world.

One of the things I've been enjoying as I migrate ever more of my work 
from my Mac to Ubuntu is having so much choice available over hardware 
configs, and at prices I had only dreamed of back when I used to buy 
Macs exclusively. :)

This video shows off some of the effects available with Compiz, the 
compositing engine available for every machine with a decent video card 
running Ubuntu and most of the other popular distros:

This is a more down-to-earth demo showing more practical workflows:

And here the famous Nixie Pixel shows you how to install Ubuntu in under 
5 minutes:

It's not her best video, but helpful.

I still think OS X has an edge in the "it just works" category, 
something no one else can do because it requires the uniquely tight 
integration between the hardware and software possible only when both 
come from a single company.

But for flexibility, not so much.  Mac OS offers a choice between gray 
and blue in its Appearance Manager; check out Ubuntu's themes and then 
drop into Compiz Config and you get a very different idea of what it 
means to personalize your computing experience.

Ubuntu offers all the security we enjoy on our Macs, but IMNSHO a better 
user experience than Windows.  It boots much faster (under 20 seconds on 
my Dell), and I don't have to run my system and anti-virus updates for 
several minutes at the start of each session - I just boot and enjoy. :)

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  LiveCode training and consulting:
  Webzine for LiveCode developers:
  LiveCode Journal blog:

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