Linux Jingoism

I havn’t served up any real Linux Jingoism in several hours, so here’s a dose. From Ben Zvan via facebook, we have YAhead10 list of why you should use Linux. Here.

And, for you Windows users, here’s a little item on Windows Explorer.

Comments

  1. #1 GaryB
    April 8, 2009

    I just returned to Linux after years of dealing with Windows because of my experience with Vista. I have to know Windows XP, Server and Vista because my business is supplying and fixing PCs including MS problems, but replacing XP with Vista drove me nuts.

    However, I must say that the driver issue is much better in MS products than in Linux. I had to go to a beta version of Ubuntu just to get my wireless to stay enabled. My sound works but is about 50 dB less than with Vista and my external jacks simply do not work. There is a fair bit of frustration with Linux I didn’t have with Vista.

    My intention is to use VirtualBox to run XP and Vista so phone support is possible, but the VB software hasn’t caught up to Ubuntu 9.02 64.

    I think the path is to wait for a number of months before putting Linux, as nice as it is, on new systems. It would be nice if OEMs would make all their new systems Linux ready, but I can’t see it happening anytime soon.

  2. #2 dreikin
    April 8, 2009
  3. #3 JM
    April 8, 2009

    “My sound works but is about 50 dB less than with Vista ”

    So you mean it doesn’t work at all? 50db exceeds the signal to noise ratio on nearly all but professional audio gear. Now if you said 5 or even 10 I’d find that plausible.

    But 50? You’d just be listening to hiss.

  4. #4 Matthew Platte
    April 8, 2009

    Maby the first commenter could pick up some Linux-friendly hardware from the “10 reasons” people:

    http://www.reichel.net/used4sale/

  5. #5 Dan J
    April 8, 2009

    I’ve always had my share of audio problems with Ubuntu. I’m still running 8.04 until I see an advantage (for me personally) to running a newer version. PulseAudio, the default sound-server with Ubuntu since 8.04, doesn’t work or play well with a lot of apps. The sound card support itself is sketchy because of the lack of manufacturer supplied drivers. The ALSA Project must work in the dark most of the time to try to figure out how to make drivers for the cards because the manufacturers refuse to release “proprietary” information about the card. In essence, they’re saying “We don’t want to make a Linux driver, and we don’t want to give you what’s needed to make your own.”

    I currently use the on-board audio from nVidia on my Asus motherboard for main audio, and have a separate PCI audio card installed to use with Skype.

    GaryB said:

    My intention is to use VirtualBox to run XP and Vista so phone support is possible, but the VB software hasn’t caught up to Ubuntu 9.02 64

    I use VirtualBox to test the web sites I’m building in various IE versions on Windows virtual machines. Sun has a version available for 64-bit Ubuntu 8.10/9.04 on their Download VirtualBox for Linux Hosts page. I always use their version rather than waiting for the usual software repositories to catch up. I don’t have a Vista virtual machine at the moment, but I’m quite happy with Win2K, Win Server 2003, and WinXP on VirtualBox.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    April 8, 2009

    Gary: My sound works but is about 50 dB less than with Vista and my external jacks simply do not work. There is a fair bit of frustration with Linux I didn’t have with Vista. Had you installed vista from scratch on a randomnly chosen set of hardware, or did the vista come with the machine or was the vista installed on a machine purchased with XP? These things matter a great deal if you are trying to make a fair comparison. Linux actually runs way more hardware than Windows.

    I think the path is to wait for a number of months before putting Linux, as nice as it is, on new systems. It would be nice if OEMs would make all their new systems Linux ready, but I can’t see it happening anytime soon.

    I’ve installed Linux 8.x on six machines over the last few months and every single piece of hardware works fine. And those were random machines. But, if you want to avoid problems, just get a machine with Linux already installed. You’ll probably have to do it mail order, but you can do it.

    I quickly add that I don’t mess with fancy sound cards. They never worked with Windows either. This is not a Linux or a Windows issue. It’s a sound card issue.

  7. #7 TonyC
    April 9, 2009

    Greg: I agree with you about the sound card thing — I’ve tried multiple cards, from multiple vendors – and most were total crap. (My goal is to have decent audio I/O for recording/editing with a DAW).

    [OT]

    Prior to USB 2.0/IEEE1394/firewire, onboard cards were necessary to allow more than a single stereo channel – and they mostly sucked. The drivers were crappy, buggy, poorly implemented, full of weird artifacts, and often exhibited variable latency (a deadly sin in recording — which is why professional recording tape transports were so expensive – to reduce wow & flutter aka variable speed/latency) they were also, each and every one, unique!

    With USB I now at least have a consistent comms model – and Linux works very well with almost every USB/Firewire device out there (better than windows in some cases).

    Unfortunately Linux is still missing a good DAW (a couple exist, but they really don’t provide the power or functionality needed). Luckily I can use WINE with many windows DAWs and get pretty good results (not great, but good)
    [/OT]

  8. #8 Spiv
    April 9, 2009

    hmmm…on the windows explorer issue, it sounds like he’s either leaving the folder open while saving documents to it (in which case it appends the latest file to the end of the list; tapping f5 will rebuild the directory list), or he has “remember each folder’s view settings” unchecked in the folder options list. I /think/ this is the default option, as it seems to be turned on with both my windows machines, but I’m not 100%.

    I don’t really know how else you could convince windows to put things “roughly” in the order they were saved. It’s either everything when the directory was displayed, with save order appended until the directory refreshes, or it’s according to the “arrange by” settings.

    If you’ve got some layout you love, go into the folder options and click the “apply to all folders.” This is not optimum, but it gives more room for customization.

    It’s useful, I think, to be able to have different settings per folder. There are some that are best read via sorting by type, and others by name or date modified.

  9. #9 GaryB
    April 9, 2009

    Obviously my claim of 50dB was an exaggeration, but it did drop significantly. What is more annoying is the inability to use headphones.

    “Had you installed vista from scratch on a randomnly chosen set of hardware, or did the vista come with the machine or was the vista installed on a machine purchased with XP? These things matter a great deal if you are trying to make a fair comparison. Linux actually runs way more hardware than Windows.”

    Greg, this isn’t a recent or infrequent situation. I’ve attempted to put Linux on new systems, primarily laptops but on a few desktops, for the last few years. I’ve found that Linux does not support the newest MoBos, the newest video, nor the newest audio. When it comes to new technology, Linux is always playing catchup.

    The laptops I supply come with Vista but have the XP downgrade, they are obviously designed to work with Windows not Linux. They are always the newest systems because the lifespan of laptops (OK, notebooks) is about 3 months. Because of this I have no way to be ‘fair’ to Linux because it simply isn’t my reality.

    BTW, I was not trying to put Linux down, if I didn’t prefer it to Vista I wouldn’t be using it right now to visit your blag.

    “I’ve installed Linux 8.x on six machines over the last few months and every single piece of hardware works fine. And those were random machines. But, if you want to avoid problems, just get a machine with Linux already installed. You’ll probably have to do it mail order, but you can do it.”

    I’ve installed WinXP on hundreds of systems and had very few problems. I’ve attempted to install Linux on probably 15 ‘new’ systems over the past 5 years, mostly servers, and had problems with everything from video to SATA to motherboard. That is my point, it is new systems I have trouble with. If I put linux on an older system it works great but because of the lag between Asus, or Gigabyte, or Acer or whomever putting out a new product and Linux supporting it fully I can’t push it as fully fledged OS. What I have been doing of late is selling a new system to a customer and using their old system as the server. I have networks with both Win2003 and Linux, I prefer Linux.

    “I quickly add that I don’t mess with fancy sound cards. They never worked with Windows either. This is not a Linux or a Windows issue. It’s a sound card issue. “

    But Greg, some of us love our fancy sound.

  10. #10 Dan J
    April 9, 2009

    The PCI sound card that I currently use only for Skype gave me problems with Ubuntu 6.06, but has been behaving well in 8.04. The card is a Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! 24-bit. The issues I had with 6.06 seemed to arise from the fact that Creative changed the chipset they used for the card, but kept the same product ID numbers, etc. This made the existing Linux drivers for the card fail with newer versions of the card. This has been fixed with the current drivers. The card can be set to provide surround output under Linux.

    The on-board audio on the Asus M2N-VM DVI motherboard has never given me any difficulty. The connection to the front jacks on the case works as well. I used this motherboard for both my wife’s and my own system when I built them last year. Unfortunately, this board is no longer available.

    This highlights the problem of using the newest hardware compared to using last year’s (or the year before) models. When a company designs their new boards, they are generally working with Microsoft to develop drivers that will be available to users when the board is launched. In nearly all cases, the Linux community is left out in the cold until the board can be analyzed after launch so that drivers can be developed, or the proper existing drivers checked for compatibility. This constant lag time puts the Linux users and developers at a distinct disadvantage.

    Microsoft generally expects the manufacturers to provide their own drivers with the product, while Linux users expect the drivers to be compiled into the kernel (or available as a kernel module). When installing Windows, the installation program will ask you to insert a CD containing the drivers for some hardware. Linux doesn’t do this, so when the driver for your video isn’t part of the kernel, you’ve got a problem. Some of us have no difficulty booting to a shell and setting up X, but your average Joe won’t have a clue.

  11. #11 JH
    April 10, 2009

    @Spiv:

    hmmm…on the windows explorer issue, it sounds like he’s either leaving the folder open while saving documents to it (in which case it appends the latest file to the end of the list; tapping f5 will rebuild the directory list), or he has “remember each folder’s view settings” unchecked in the folder options list.

    I already have this set as the default for all folders. For example, IIRC the default view wasn’t “icons” but a sort of list.

    What’s really confusing here is that “Arrange Icons by – Name” doesn’t keep things ordered by name as I add files to a folder. But I’m not clear how “leaving the folder open while saving documents to it” would result in the behavior I’m seeing.