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From: Sotho <so...@sparc2.umeres.maine.edu>
Subject: You have to read this article from times newspaper
Date: 1997/04/23
Message-ID: <335E674E.1F44@sparc2.umeres.maine.edu>
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If you haven't seen this yet.
I thought most UNIX users might quite a different opinion on this
and might want to tell this 'dumbass' what's really going on :)

Sotho
...




Date:   Tue, 22 Apr 1997 16:05:00 +0100 (BST)
From: "Andy J. Smith" <A.J....@nortel.co.uk>
To: linux-...@vger.rutgers.edu
Subject: An article in The Times
Organisation: Nortel Technology Ltd.
Sender: owner-lin...@vger.rutgers.edu

Here's the full text of an article in the Times newspaper.  This article
appeared both in the real newspaper and on their website "The Electronic
Times".

If anyone has any comments, the author's email address is
an...@dial.pipex.com

The online version is at
http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/Sunday-Times/frontpage.html?1727928


    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 Microsoft.

   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 place.

   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

-----End of forwarded message-----

From: an...@fyi.net (Andy)
Subject: Re: You have to read this article from times newspaper
Date: 1997/04/26
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Having read the article, and the responses, this guy does have two
good points: first, it was really dumb to put the CD in PC World,
especially if it has a GUI front end. as the article seems to suggest.
I'm sure there are others here who have had bad experiences with
"newbies" who could not comprehend Windows or MacOS; imagine giving
them Linux.

Second, there is no way Linux will beat Windows.  We can appreciate
its technical superiorities, but as a mainstream PC OS?  Not to
mention that there is no marketing for it.

Aside from that, he's a presumptuous asshole.

-Andy

From: Mike List <tr...@net-link.net>
Subject: Re: You have to read this article from times newspaper
Date: 1997/04/26
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To: Andy <an...@fyi.net>
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Andy wrote:
> 
> Having read the article, and the responses, this guy does have two
> good points: first, it was really dumb to put the CD in PC World,
> especially if it has a GUI front end. as the article seems to suggest.
> I'm sure there are others here who have had bad experiences with
> "newbies" who could not comprehend Windows or MacOS; imagine giving
> them Linux.
> 
> Second, there is no way Linux will beat Windows.  We can appreciate
> its technical superiorities, but as a mainstream PC OS?  Not to
> mention that there is no marketing for it.

I'm sure that you are wrong about linux not being a mainstream OS. I
have been using a PC at home for about a year, with no previous computer
experience, and I'm digging linux, and using it regularly. I realize
that part of the reason for my success is due to the very basic nature
of my system(1floppy drive, no CDROM, cirrus logic video, vga monitor,
no frills), but I found linux not to be that challenging, and I think
that a little more refinement in the install process, could make it so
for more systems. I'm still stupid, but for almost everything(I can't
print graphics, or use my scanner)that I want to do, the distribution
binaries are as effective as DOS/Windows. X is almost foolproof if you
know what your video hardware specs are, thanks to the
XF86Setup utility that is included in 3.2 and above. For those linux
users and gurus that need the superiority factor
I highly recommend that they get an expert grade crossword puzzle book
and impress their slower friends with that. If linux is meant to be for
dedicated hackers only then you are right, definitely not mainstream.
OTOH, if you want to raise the general level of computer literacy as I
THINK I do, then there is a lot that can be done to gently encourage
people into hacking and programming. MSDOS/Windows has its definite
place, it's just a shame that so many people think it to be the end all
be all of computing. The more you know about computing, the more MS et
al are exposed as condescending lowest common denominator OS, which is
fine for now, but with the ever increasing dependency on computers,
well.... 
> 
> Aside from that, he's a presumptuous asshole.
> 
> -Andy

-- 
        ||\\ //|| || ||// ||=  ||  || ||= =||=
        || the more I learn the more I learn there
        ||     || || ||\\ ||=  ||= || =||  ||
        is to learn (kinda like playing guitar)!!!!

From: Andrew Veliath <vel...@ny.frontiercomm.net>
Subject: Re: don't worry about the Times article...
Date: 1997/04/27
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>>>>> "Mike" == Mike List <tr...@net-link.net> writes:

    >> Second, there is no way Linux will beat Windows.  We can
    >> appreciate its technical superiorities, but as a mainstream PC
    >> OS?  Not to mention that there is no marketing for it.

    Mike> I'm sure that you are wrong about linux not being a
    Mike> mainstream OS. I have been using a PC at home for about a
    Mike> year, with no previous computer experience, and I'm digging
    Mike> linux, and using it regularly. I realize that part of the
    Mike> reason for my success is due to the very basic nature of my
    Mike> system(1floppy drive, no CDROM, cirrus logic video, vga
    Mike> monitor, no frills), but I found linux not to be that
    Mike> challenging, and I think that a little more refinement in
    Mike> the install process, could make it so for more systems. I'm
    Mike> still stupid, but for almost everything(I can't print
    Mike> graphics, or use my scanner)that I want to do, the
    Mike> distribution binaries are as effective as DOS/Windows. X is
    Mike> almost foolproof if you know what your video hardware specs
    Mike> are, thanks to the XF86Setup utility that is included in 3.2
    Mike> and above. For those linux users and gurus that need the
    Mike> superiority factor I highly recommend that they get an
    Mike> expert grade crossword puzzle book and impress their slower
    Mike> friends with that. If linux is meant to be for dedicated
    Mike> hackers only then you are right, definitely not mainstream.
    Mike> OTOH, if you want to raise the general level of computer
    Mike> literacy as I THINK I do, then there is a lot that can be
    Mike> done to gently encourage people into hacking and
    Mike> programming. MSDOS/Windows has its definite place, it's just
    Mike> a shame that so many people think it to be the end all be
    Mike> all of computing. The more you know about computing, the
    Mike> more MS et al are exposed as condescending lowest common
    Mike> denominator OS, which is fine for now, but with the ever
    Mike> increasing dependency on computers, well....

Unfortunately, as you allude to, many seem to forget that using one OS
or another has nothing to do with one's intelligence or wisdom
(choosing one OS over another depends on many factors).  Don't let
zeal be a limitation.

As Linux becomes more popular, it should be _expected_ that the MS
bigots (and others) will badger it, just like MS gets bashed now (it
has nothing to do with valid uses of course, just nit-picking, which
is why the comparison _is_ valid).  For many things MS _is_ better
right now, and for some things Linux is better.

However, it is only natural for an avid Unix user to feel shame when
he is forced to use MS for some reason or another ;-).

-- 
Andrew Veliath <vel...@ny.frontiercomm.net>
Warning: unwanted spam may become bad karma for sender

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