He starts a blog called Linux in Exile.

This is a must read blog. It addresses the fundamental nature of evil. And it’s a new blog. Have a look, lend support, and enjoy, because eventually, Agents from the Dark Side will probably come and take him away.

(Although, I understand the blog writer had some powerful allies. Such as the Klingons. And I’m not talkin’ about those little furry bits stuck to your sweater.)


  1. #1 AndyN
    January 24, 2009

    In my job I see this sort of attitude a lot. Whether it’s dealing with different operating systems, different applications, whatever.

    Skimming through his blog so far, there are a lot of statements along the lines of “I don’t get it”, or “this aint like Linux”. Does it mean that Windows sucks? No Does it mean that Linux is better? No.

    All it means is that his brain is having a hard time adjusting to the new landscape and workflow of the new OS. It’s hard work to him as he has years of habits that have evolved around a Linux environment. What happens if you take any species of the animal kingdom and place them into a new and unfamiliar environment? They’re gonna get stressed as they have to figure out the new rules and strategies of their new habitat. It’s really no different. After a while, they get used to it, form new strategies, and start to feel comfortable. In the case of OS’s and software applications, this can take a while. Sometimes anything up to a year or two, but they do get there.

  2. #2 Richard
    January 24, 2009

    Does someone want to tell him that he can run his beloved open office in windows…?

  3. #3 D. C. Sessions
    January 24, 2009

    Does someone want to tell him that he can run his beloved open office in windows…?

    You could try, but he might do something unpleasant.

    He asked, and his Lords and Masters forbade it.

  4. #4 Gregory Earl
    January 24, 2009

    @AndyN: “All it means is that his brain is having a hard time adjusting to the new landscape and workflow of the new OS.”

    No, it really does mean that his brain knows there is a superior operating system out there but that he is forced to work with a useless piece of sh1t instead.

    I work regularly with both Linux and Windows, I know the landscape and workflow of both, and I don’t particularly hate Bill Gates or Microsoft. But I know that under Windows I spend half the time trying to figure out how work around the “features” of the OS so that I can get something done. Under Linux, I just get it done.

  5. #5 Lilian Nattel
    January 24, 2009

    I’m interested in linux, but everything I’ve read online was about people having it crash or not work properly on the kind of computer I have (an Acer AMD laptop). I also tried Open Office but I had some problems with it and ended up going back to Word–which I don’t like much but it didn’t lose track of page numbers the way OO did with my book. I’d love an alternative to microsoft. I spent hours yesterday with a techno dude in India trying to download sp3 for windows xp. Luckily it didn’t work because when I did some reading about it, I discovered that sp3 has totally screwed up AMD machines.

  6. #6 Glenn Grace
    January 24, 2009

    I use OSX, Linux, and windows XP and I teach all three to seniors. Not at the same time, of course,and they seem to get used to any of these systems fairly easily if not exposed to the “Religious” views of them. That being said, the older versions of MS Office incorporated the same windows menus philosophy. Interestingly, Linux and Open Office use these same menu structures. So it’s easy to go from an email client to a word processor even if all the menu items are not exactly the same. Now MS seems intent on making a change to a completely different structure in Word 2007. If they continue this the OS will be as different as OSX is from windows or linux. This will make it more difficult for people to migrate from one to the other. Maybe that’s the goal?

  7. #7 Dan J
    January 24, 2009

    I’ve been using Linux exclusively at home for about three years. The only PCs at my “other job” were running Win2k and Win98 with older versions of Office installed. We finally got to replace those two machines with nice shiny Vista PCs. I’ve now had my first taste of Windows Vista and Office 2007, and it’s definitely left me with a rather sour taste in my mouth.

    I uninstalled the Office 2007 trial versions from both PCs and replaced it with OpenOffice. Word 2007, for both myself and others, was one of the most counter-intuitive things we had ever seen. What’s up with this “Office Button”, and where are my menus? Yes, I suppose all of the functionality is still there, but in my opinion they “fixed” something that wasn’t broken. There was also the “What?!?!” response from the boss when I told her how much it was going to cost to actually purchase Office 2007 for both of the new PCs. She was pleasantly surprised when I told her the cost of OpenOffice.

    I’ve installed VirtualBox on one of the machines so that I and another user can have our Linux inside of the required Windows. Like others, it isn’t that I hate Microsoft, it’s that I have to deal with more problems with a Windows installation than I do with Linux.

    I have a reverse situation at home, where I have Windows virtual machines inside my Linux OS. Why would I do this? Well, I have one or two old programs that I want to keep around that simply don’t have a good open-source alternative and will not work (yet) with wine (a windows application layer for Linux), and secondly, I do some web design work at home. After building in Firefox, I test in IE 6, 7, and 8(beta), which don’t work well outside of an actual Windows environment.

    My wife also uses Linux at home now, and I don’t think she could be persuaded to go back to Windows.

  8. #8 Argon
    January 24, 2009

    All OSes have significant learning curves. Keep in mind that most respondents here have a higher level of technical savvy than the average person who views a PC as an appliance, not a hobby or something they want open and tweak under the hood. In that respect, Linux/BSD is finally becoming a useful platform and the Macintosh & Windows OSes, for all the griping about Steve and Bill, have been there far longer.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    January 24, 2009

    Linux, for all practical purposes, is nothing like a newly introduced operating system.

    Unix was introduced in the 1960s
    The GNU project was started in 1984
    Minux was introduced in 1987
    Windows 3.0 was introduced in 1990
    Windows 3.1 was introduced in 1992.

    True, as a desktop it hasn’t had the form of an easily installed operating system until about five or six years ago, and a bit more recently it became grandmother ready.

    So, I’m not disagreeing with your basic statement of fact, but the fact that the Unix way of doing things predates most of the people today using Macs, Windows or Linux is important and is easily lost (and misunderstood) among the common and widely held misconceptions that plague these very intertubes.

  10. #10 Dan J
    January 25, 2009

    Interesting anecdote about the OSes and learning curves that I saw recently in a comment at Slashdot in “Obama Looking at Open Source?”:

    On the flip side, a nursing home near me got 8 PCs donated to them. I got there to install them and they had pirated versions of WinXP with a message “This version of windows is not genuine” etc. I told them to buy WinXP pro for 8 computers at $199.00 each plus AV etc. They balked at the price tag so I put Ubuntu on all the the PCs. They called me 2 months later. They had 2 more WinXP PCs donated to them. But they had Legit versions of XP on them and were pretty clean of crapware so I told them I’ll just connect the PCs as is and I did. They called me back a month later complaining about the 2 windows PCs. What was the complaint? The residents “Old people” did not want to use the windows PCs because they were already used to the Ubuntu PCs and said “It was too hard” compared to Ubuntu “Icons were too small” “Cannot zoom desktop”(compiz zoom feature) etc etc. The list went on and on. The elderly residents just could not go from Ubuntu to windows after using it for just 2 months. No one would go near the windows PCs. so I had to go back and wipe perfectly legitimate versions of XP of the 2 boxes and put Linux on those too.

  11. #11 Argon
    January 25, 2009

    The residents “Old people” did not want to use the windows PCs because they were already used to the Ubuntu PCs and said “It was too hard” compared to Ubuntu “Icons were too small” “Cannot zoom desktop”(compiz zoom feature) etc etc. The list went on and on.

    Precisely. Once you get used to one method and find it works well enough, changing isn’t worth the hassle. In fact it becomes a headache. Driving on the left is hardly any different from driving on the right as long as a local standard is kept. The only big difference in the interface is the side on which you operate the gearshift. But ask the old people how much they’d like learning to drive on the left side of the road. Or, don’t change the side of the road but the relative order of the peddles and convert the rear view mirror to a display that doesn’t reverse the image. Anyone starting out new would probably find the new arrangement just as easy to learn as the old, but then ask them to suddenly switch to a new interface and I’d bet they’d call that “hard”.

  12. #12 Antton
    February 19, 2009

    What has surprised me is that so many “non- geeks” are nowdays using Linuxdistros like Ubuntu. I’ve always thought that it’s for geeks and youngsters. However people of countryside who want to spend money and don’t want to pay for virus software etc.. have find distros like Ubuntu as very fine OS.