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What's really fast and sucks? Surely it can't be Linux

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(newsguy)
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Two headlines grabbed my attention today. The first proclaiming that Linux sucks while the second announced it was possible to boot into a full Linux OS in less than a single solitary second.

Paul Rako reports that one company, an embedded-Linux specialist called MontaVista Software, has gone step further than developing a proper Real-Time Linux implementation by developing a Real-Fast Linux implementation which boots in a second.

Actually, let's be accurate here, it boots in *less* than a second!

Actually, let's be even more accurate here, according to this report MontaVista has not only managed to boot its Real-Time Linux in under a second but can boot a bog standard, conventional, Linux distro in the same time. There's a video demo of the embedded version booting up in double quick time on YouTube which is worth a look if you are intrigued by all this. not even the embedded version of Windows 7 can get this speedy, so how did the Linux lads achieve it?

MontaVista achieved the impressive feat by getting rid of the bloat, and yes you have to admit that Linux is starting to look a little flabby around the middle these days, and paring down the boot loader. A little bit of Direct Memory Access here to move boot tasks into flash or processor memory as required, plus a clever bit of RAM disk usage by loading those parts of the end-user application needed to start up into page-cache memory and the process was pretty much complete.

Sounds pretty cool huh? But not everyone is convinced that Linux is cool at all. Take Adrian Kingsley-Hughes over at ZDNet who posted a story entitled "Why Linux still sucks" yesterday that recalled recent feedback from users looking to make the switch to Linux who were put off after taking it for a test drive. Notes that these are not necessarily the views of Adrian himself, but rather yer actual would be converts who decided not to be converted after all for the following most reasons:

  • No gaming support
  • Little or no OEM support
  • No iPod support
  • No migration tool
  • Driver/hardware confusion
  • Free tech support dries up
  • Confusion about distro differences

So there you have it, Linux has come a long, long way and still has some distance left to travel if your average Windows or Mac user is going to make the switch. While nerds like me, and possibly you dear reader, will be mightily impressed by the sub-second booting story I suspect that the man on the Clapham Omnibus will be more concerned with the bullet-list of common problems than how long it takes to boot up. Sure, Linux is always going to be quicker than Windows, but if it is less newbie user friendly is that really a big deal?

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FreeBooteR
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1) Show people gaming companies like Frictional Interactive that make great game clients for GNU/Linux.

http://lgn.linux-hardcore.com/list-of-upcoming-gnu-linux-games/

2) Tell OEM's to stop being strong armed by Microsoft and grow a pair.

3) Apple makes sure ipod doesn't work with GNU/Linux, talk to them.

4) There are companies that offer these types of services.

5) Plenty of companies offer paid tech support for GNU/Liux. Most popular distibutions have huge free well documented wiki's, bulletin boards, irc to help out.

6) Doing something new always takes some research. It isn't hard, and the diversity offers something that is bound to appeal to peoples specific needs.


If a company is migrating over to GNU/Linux from Windows, somebody must have done some research to get Windows infrastructure setup originally. It didn't appear from the ether with productivity software magially working.

Small business or home business would also need to do similar. In fact for these people it would be easier in some circumstances since there is plenty of free productivity software. In others you might need to do a little work. No matter the OS there is some work involved.

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EmpirePCShop
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The google chrome OS has also managed to speed up Boot times for a real-world application, net-books.

I encourage you to research that as well. I am waiting for a stable release on the Chrome OS to test it on an older net book I have.

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AndyMcDandy
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I may not be a Linux fan to the extent that most Linux users are but like Mac and Windows, it has it's pro's and con's. The biggest con preventing myself from completely getting away from windows is the lack of Linux support for most of my products.

However, unlike the average pc user who are just too damn lazy to research anything, I will actually spend time trying to find answers to making something work, in hopes of getting myself one step closer to leaving windows forever.

Something diffenently needs to be done to get software makers, espicially the game makers to offer Linux versions. Sure there is Wine but not every game works in it and no gamer wants to wait months and months for their games to finally run properly.

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stonebit
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Very lame anti-Linux list.
-Yeah-there are lots of games for Windows, but that's like saying you won't use Windows because your PS3 games don't work on it.
-OEM support is never free. You pay for it one way or another. If you want Linux support, use forums or pay someone-after all, the OS you use is free, so it won't put you out more than Windows.
-M$ doesn't support iPods. If you want [cr]Apple to officially support iPod in Linux, tell them.
-I don't know of any migration tool to move from AnythingOS to Windows. Lame excuse.
-Driver confusion? What? Outside of a VGA, no drivers are needed. Period.
-Free tech support for what? There are equally as good and crappy support sites for Windblows and Linux.
-If you don't know which distro to get, get several Live discs and try them out! It's not like you're paying for them!

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helios17
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Those are not reasons for not trying or using Linux, aside from the gaming aspect, they are validations for preconceived notions and second-hand opinions from ignorant friends.
People are for the most part, mentally lazy. I've seen pain thresholds that would frustrate the Marquis de Sade...and still Windows Users will put up with the nonsense they endure.
Aside from that, if you can read, understand and tolerate the Windows EULA, then I don't know what to say. If you don't mind co-owning your computer with Microsoft and their "approved parties", then there's not much that can be said. Good luck with that.

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ap90033
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Quote
"Very lame anti-Linux list.
-Yeah-there are lots of games for Windows, but that's like saying you won't use Windows because your PS3 games don't work on it.
-OEM support is never free. You pay for it one way or another. If you want Linux support, use forums or pay someone-after all, the OS you use is free, so it won't put you out more than Windows.
-M$ doesn't support iPods. If you want [cr]Apple to officially support iPod in Linux, tell them.
-I don't know of any migration tool to move from AnythingOS to Windows. Lame excuse.
-Driver confusion? What? Outside of a VGA, no drivers are needed. Period.
-Free tech support for what? There are equally as good and crappy support sites for Windblows and Linux.
-If you don't know which distro to get, get several Live discs and try them out! It's not like you're paying for them!"
---------------------
Uh say what? That is a stupid comparison. Look Linux isnt a Console and is very LAME for GAMERS. Just admit it. Once Linux gains a way to play games like Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Modern Warfare2 and Borderlands etc then you will have something. Second rate tron looking graphics just wont cut it sorry. Sheesh I have been preaching this for Years. If you Linux Genius's who like to slam Windows Users so much put your smarts that you claim to have towards making this a reality it would be done already...

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ap90033
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Those are not reasons for not trying or using Linux, aside from the gaming aspect, they are validations for preconceived notions and second-hand opinions from ignorant friends.
People are for the most part, mentally lazy. I've seen pain thresholds that would frustrate the Marquis de Sade...and still Windows Users will put up with the nonsense they endure.
Aside from that, if you can read, understand and tolerate the Windows EULA, then I don't know what to say. If you don't mind co-owning your computer with Microsoft and their "approved parties", then there's not much that can be said. Good luck with that.
----------------

That is like saying we are stupid for putting up with politicians (who ALL suck BTW).. WELL DUHHH what can you really do about it? Vote in a different dipwad, oh what a great change that is...
People use windows because 99.9999% of apps, games, PC's use it. Again DUH, but please keep denying it. That really helps. We need solutions not "aside from the gaming aspect" crap. That is one of the biggest Industries in the World right now...

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ap90033
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AMEN
Something diffenently needs to be done to get software makers, espicially the game makers to offer Linux versions. Sure there is Wine but not every game works in it and no gamer wants to wait months and months for their games to finally run properly.

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ap90033
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In case you didnt GET IT
Something diffenently needs to be done to get software makers, espicially the game makers to offer Linux versions. Sure there is Wine but not every game works in it and no gamer wants to wait months and months for their games to finally run properly.

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ap90033
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Oh wait here is a GREAT IDEA run WITH IT
Something diffenently needs to be done to get software makers, espicially the game makers to offer Linux versions. Sure there is Wine but not every game works in it and no gamer wants to wait months and months for their games to finally run properly.

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helios17
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Out of a few hundred clients, I can only think of a handful that "required" gaming as part of their computing experience. Most productive adults need a secure and stable environment to get their work done. Sure gaming is a huge industry...and Linux really lags behind the curve in that aspect. For 7 out of 10 people, gaming is neither important or wanted. John and Jane user don't have a problem with Linux as a general purpose platform...besides, most of them who play games play via their consoles. The adults do anyway.

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libbylab
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My opinion (please, it's just that) is that some of the newbie complaints come from the failure of many techies to be able to write clear instructions for people who are much less knowledgeable than they are. In the software that you pay for, some companies try to fix the problem by hiring "tech editors" and some go out of business.

I don't think there is a good fix for clarity in writing - I have done some tech editing, off the cuff, not professionally and so I am probably more critical than some of poorly written instructions.

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libbylab
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Hey guys and gals- Linux is just too hard for many of us (who have other things to do in our lives) to understand. So you willget many gripes from occasional users who want carefully done explanations which are JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Half the Win. tools I've paid for have had lousy user manuals. They gradually get better (as people who PAY complain) or they "go out of business". Gee what a revolutionary thought - if I buy something, then I can have some clout with the developer.

I have learned to use Linux (Ubuntu) as a way to get past some WinXP foibles or to use Firefox a little quicker but I don't expect the "free" apps to be as easy or as tailorable to my exact needs. I could never figure out how to use any of the supposed Ubuntu replacements for Quicken so - guess what - I paid Intuit (again) and use WinXP for my Quicken needs.

I know how to write tech and/or user manuals and if I could ever understand the Ubuntu apps, I would probably volunteer.

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faridali
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