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From: "Christopher L. Wright" <>
Subject: quote:  'Linux, the PC program from hell'   -- David Hewson
Date: 1997/04/22
Message-ID: <>
X-Deja-AN: 236980016
Organization: SpyderByte Communications, Inc.
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy

This was passed on to me, thought you might find this interesting.  
Apparently, a journalist in the UK has decided to review Linux.  
Enclosed is the message in case the following URL is removed/modified.

Obviously, if every Linux fan flames the crap out of him, it won't
necessarily drive home the point that we all should be trying to make: 
Linux is legitimate, though it is one solution of many to choose from.
Have fun with the loser.

     It is the craze of the month among geeks who love
             complexity. Avoid it at all costs 

     Linux, the PC program
                 from hell 

   WAS I the only one who broke into a scream of terror
   when I looked at this month's copy of Personal Computer
   World? There, staring out from a free CD-Rom on the
   cover was the program from hell, and all you needed to do
   to let it take over your PC was double click a couple of
   times and kiss goodbye to your sanity. 

   The nasty piece of digital scurf in question is known as
   Linux and there are plenty of sad types who will tell you it
   is the future of personal computing. Do not fall for this
   bizarre line in geek thinking. 

   Even Personal Computer World, after making it so easy to
   enter the twilight zone without a return ticket, saw fit to
   enter a few caveats in the fine print. Linux, it said, came
   with a serious health warning. Don't even think about it, the
   magazine said, unless you are technically proficient and
   have backed up all your PC files beforehand. 

   Yes, but we know what the average PC user is like. He
   never reads the words, he just slings in the CD-Rom,
   clicks on the install icon, and hopes for the best. And if you
   are now looking at a blank screen with a few impenetrable
   commands where you once had a working PC, then all I
   can say is: "You have only yourself to blame." 

   Linux, for the uninitiated, is a version of that old computer
   donkey known as Unix. If you need to run big computer
   Unix tasks then it is, I am told, not a bad solution at all.
   Equally, if you believe there is no point in doing easily
   something you can achieve the long way round, it is
   doubtless the way to go. 

   Imagine a tougher version of MS-Dos - where the
   commands are even harder to memorise and less forgiving
   of errors - and you are starting to get there. And if you
   want to cheat a little, you can put on a pseudo-graphical
   front end and - bingo - you might just manage to turn a
   modern Windows NT-capable PC into a passable
   imitation of Windows 3.1 circa 1992. 

   However, to read some publications, you might think that
   Microsoft's Bill Gates is quivering in his boots at the idea
   that Linux will do what IBM and Apple never managed to
   achieve - kick Windows off the everyday desktop. Really?
   Well, no. Linux is flavour of the month with the geek
   community for two reasons - it's free, and it's not from

   For a certain breed of bug-eyed computer user, that really
   is all you need. Trivial details such as usability, the lack of
   decent everyday software, and the plain fact that, when
   things go wrong, you are on your own are not setbacks to
   Linux addicts. These are the very reasons why they like the
   wretched thing - because it sets them apart from the
   mainstream of tedious, ordinary users who just use PCs to
   get on with the job. 

   Personal computers seem to have attracted some strange
   and obsessive people along the way to becoming common
   or garden information tools. If Linux hadn't been invented
   by a Finnish student a few years back, something equally
   strange and esoteric would have appeared to take its

   Computer geeks despise simple, common standards.
   Gates is the object of their hate simply because he won the
   operating-system war. If Apple or IBM had come out on
   top, the people now buzzing so excitedly around Linux
   would have treated them to the hate mail they reserve for
   Gates today. 

   Fads like Linux are diversionary characters in a digital
   freak show on the sidelines of modern information
   technology. Finding them on the cover disks of mainstream
   magazines says more about the novelty value of computer
   journalism than the real issues facing those trying to make
   tomorrow's PCs a sight better than the ones we use today. 

   The idea that great developments in personal computing
   will be invented in some dismal student bedroom in
   Helsinki might make nice bedtime reading for people who
   dream in hexa-decimal. But if all you want is a computer
   that you can aspire to understand, chuck that blasted
   CD-Rom in the bin right now. 

                                  David Hewson

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