Windows & Linux – myths and facts

Recently, I’ve been using Ubuntu (a Linux distribution*, not Ubuntu Cola😀 ) quite a lot lately.
My main operating system is Windows 7 and I have Ubuntu as a backup. Anyway, I’ve heard a lot of “Linux is easier and better” crap, but is that really so? I’ll analyse such claims a bit in this post, name pros and cons of both systems and say some general info about Linux.
Since I’m not an advanced user myself and often find “explanations” like Dude, do you speak English? I’ll try not to go to technical details. If you do find something too technical, just screw it😀

Desktop screenshots can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Free and freeware

The main pro of Linux is that the distributions* are free. Not just freeware, but free. What’s the difference between free and freeware software anyway? Free means it’s totally open without any kind of limitations (e.g. Mozilla’s Gecko engine). Freeware, on the other hand, is free of charge, but has some licence restrictions. That is the crap you just click Accept to without reading it. Basic restrictions are, for example, using a certain software for private purposes only, one licence per computer etc.

*Linux Distributions

Linux is no single software, but rather a family of operating systems called Linux distributions. Because the source code of Linux is open to everybody (unlike that of Windows), everyone is allowed to create an “operating system”. Thus, there are hundreds of different distributions. Currently, the most popular are Ubuntu and Fedora, and, of course, Google Android. Yes, Africans, Ubuntu takes its name from African life philosophy of ubuntu (Zulu humanity to others). The creator of Ubuntu is a South African.
Distributions can be based on one another. For example, Mint is based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian. Distributions can be connected to each other more or less closely. For example, due to a dispute between Mozilla and Debian Project, Mozilla software can’t be installed on Debian. Instead Mozilla clones are used (like Iceweasel* instead of Firefox), which are pretty much the same as their Mozilla counterparts. Now, both Knoppix and Ubuntu are based on Debian. However, Mozilla software is in normal use in Ubuntu while Knoppix uses the mentioned clones.

Distributions can be specialized (e.g., science, education, network, notebooks etc.) or general. They vary a lot and you are bound to find a distribution that is going to work on your computer, no matter how powerful it is. An example of a distribution that works on weak computers is Damn Small Linux. This Wikipedia article offers general information about many distributions.
Most distributions are multilingual, but there are some that aim only towards one region and thus only in one or a limited number of languages.

Note that the popularity of a certain distribution varies through time. Ubuntu, one of the most popular distribution today, was released in 2004 while the first Linux distribution was released in the early nineties. The popularity of Linux Mint has been growing quite a lot lately.

*Check the subquest for more info about Iceweasel😉

Desktop Enviorment

Desktop environment is a graphical interface of Linux and defines the appearance of Linux. Unlike Windows, Mac OS and similar OS; which pretty much have a defined interface and the appearance pretty much varies only from version to version; Linux distributions are not environment bound though certain environments are developed for one distribution (e.g. Unity). Basically, different distributions can use the same desktop environment and thus look the same.
There are a lot of desktops environments, like GNOME, KDE*, LXDE, Unity, Cinnamon… Like the distributions, environments can be based on one another (e.g. Unity and Cinnamon are based on GNOME).

Usually, a distribution comes with a default desktop environment, but others can be installed. There are also different releases of the same distribution with different environments. The name of such a release usually differs only by one letter. For example, the default environment of Ubuntu is Unity. You can run KDE on Ubuntu – you can do that either by installing KDE on Ubuntu after you install the operating system, or you can simply download Kubuntu, which of the default environment is KDE. Kubuntu comes without Unity but the environment can later be installed, just like KDE can on regular Ubuntu. Basically, Kubuntu and Ubuntu are the same thing, just “look” different. I use KDE – my Ubuntu is Kubuntu.

Desktop Environments come with certain software, but that software can be run on other environments too. For example, GNOME Media Player works on KDE flawlessly.

Environments can be further personalized. Well, at least KDE can – I made windows MS Windows-like and icons Unity-like.


LXDE on Knoppix



Both of these pics show KDE on (K)ubuntu. The above pic shows the default look of KDE and the one below is my personalization.

Speaking of environments, all environments come with a start menu. Those menus don’t look exactly like Windows Start Menu, actually, their look varies from environment to environment. The name of a menu can vary from simply Menu to Kickoff (KDE), but its function is the same – it’s a start menu. Anyway, I can’t remember when is the last time that I saw a PC keyboard without a Win Key ( ) [the one(s) that look like Windows logo]. Anyway, their purpose is opening Windows Start Menu. Now, some environments do recognize the key(s) and use them to open the start menu. Others, on the other hand just don’t (e.g. KDE, LXDE). The developers of such environments must have a serious religious issue against the Win Keys for not making them initiate start menu… I have to enter some codes in the terminal every now and then to force a Win Key recognition on KDE and the codes make KDE recognize only one Win Key.

*You can install most (useful) KDE programs on Windows with KDE Windows Installer. Yes, the programs are free.

Knoppix

Knoppix distribution deserves a special paragraph or two😀

Knoppix is a live Linux distribution (the first one I think). Live distributions are booted from an optical disk (or a USB flash drive) – a live CD. Now, most distributions have an option to be booted from the installation disk, so people can try out the distribution without installing it to a hard drive first. Thus, pretty much every distribution today is a live distribution.
What makes Knoppix special is that, unlike most others, it is intended for live usage (although it can be installed on a hard drive*).

Knoppix is updated regularly since the software on Knoppix can’t like be updated all the time. Furthermore, you can’t install anything on the live CD (nor can you save settings on the live CD) though there is a way to save Knoppix settings on a hard drive. Well, if you do that, Knoppix kinda looses its purpose – emergency backup operating system (very useful for retrieving data).
The distribution detects pretty much any kind of hardware though you might have to wait for a release of Knoppix after the release of the thingy it fails to detect. It can be run on old computers smoothly. Note that the waiting time is caused by the fact that the operating system is being read from an optical disk like all the time. Knoppix comes with a wide rage of software – it can read pretty much everything. It comes equipped with a software centre** or two and Debian packages** work on it. Though, as I said, everything you additionally install is lost upon system shut down unless you save settings to a hard drive.
The default desktop environment is LXDE, Though, some others can be loaded (e.g. KDE and GNOME).

Let’s discuss regional/language settings now. Knoppix is named after it’s creator, Klaus Knopper. Klaus Knopper is German and thus Knoppix is a German Linux distribution. For international (i.e. nonGerman) purposes, there’s an English version. To save the (limited) space of a disk, no other language is supported (there are, however, Knoppixed based localized distributions). There are separate disks for each language. However, each language can be loaded on the other language disk by starting the console and writing crap before Knoppix loads (e.g. you write lang=de**** on the English version to load the operating system in German).
Regional settings of the German version, are naturally German (including the keyboard layout🙂 ). English version, which should be international, is totally Americanized. The default keyboard is basic American which is so bloody limited that you can’t even type the Euro symbol (€). American International was used in older versions. I don’t know why it’s not used any more. American International has the basic input the same as basic American, but allows easy access of certain other characters (e.g ÄÅÉÖßØÑ£€¥…). Sure, basic is enough for English (actually, you can’t even type English words like cliché, résumé… decently), but English is hardly the only lingo on the planet, so if you ask me American International should be used. Furthermore, the default (short) date format is mm/dd/yyyy (e.g. today is 9/25/2012) and not only that yyyy/dd/mm (e.g. today is 2012/9/25) is international, but mm/dd/yyyy is used only in the US (and partly in Canada). Moreover, the measurement system is also American. Not only that metric is international, but the American system is used only in the US and Liberia. Okay, these settings can easily be changed in the System Settings, but why favour Americans?! Especially since they’re not the majority (and the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few😉 ). I mean, I don’t care what measurement system you use, but metric is international, and you should be able to use it. It’s simple anyway – the base is the bloody number 10. If you are annoyed by the system that much, you can just switch to your in the System Settings…
The default spell checking language is also American English. I think that the default spell checking language of the English version should be Canadian English. Canadian spelling allows both English spellings – Commonwealth  and American. We, international fellows, don’t much care whether it’s colour or color – all the same to us, so underlining certain, correct (one way or the other), spelling can be annoying. Besides, this way native speakers get their way too – Yanks get their color, and Brits and others get their colour.
Well, all that regional settings can be modified, so no biggie; I Just think the default settings should be international or, at least, follow the rule needs of the many outweigh needs of the few😀

Other than bitching about (the default) regional settings, I can’t say anything bad about Knoppix. On the contrary, the distribution kicks ass😀 There are a few bugs in version 7.0.4 though, like not being able to change keyboard layout in GUI (you have to type some crap in the console to change the layout and even then you can use only one layout at a time, you have to type crap again to switch). Now, since Knoppix is for short use only, you shouldn’t care much (I even have American layout printed above my desk so I know what to type when the situations calls for it and again, it would be easier if the international variant was used), but sometimes you just need to use different layouts in short time periods (sometimes, I keep switching between Croatian, Greek and even Serbian Cyrillic). Hopefully, the bugs will be fixed soon.

The thing I must commend is the help you are provided. You’re not toyed around on a forum or with a costumer service You can even email Kluas Knopper himself. I did a few times and he replied each time (most recent being the code you type in the console to change keyboard layout) and Klaus Knopper seems to be a really busy man.

Visit Knoppix homepage.

*If you want Linux on a hard drive, install a different distribution (e.g. Ubuntu).
**I’ll talk about software centres and installation packages later.
***Note that the keyboard input of the English version (before loading German) is American.

Ubuntu

Enough about Knoppix😀

Throughout the rest of the post I’ll pretty much be comparing Windows and Ubuntu since Ubuntu is the distribution I have.

Compatibility

Compatibility is the worst con of Linux if you ask me.  Though that is relative.

Lets make two divisions now: one is hardware compatibility and the other is software.

Let’s go through hardware first: Basic drivers are installed automatically upon installing Linux (though that may vary from distribution to distribution) and basic users should have no biggie. Basically, there’s no crap like no sound or crappy GUI when you install Ubuntu, like there is with Windows. More advanced drivers, like a decent driver for graphics, card are a different story though.
Okay, I mentioned sound and graphic drivers – good examples. Which shall I talk about first?
Okay, let’s talk about advanced drivers, like that of a graphic card, first. Graphic card manufactures like Nvidia and ATI don’t see much profit in a free operating systems. Large companies like Microsoft, Nvidia, AMD (owner of ATI)… think only about profit and work closely together (sure, they have a few disputes, but the ultimate goal is the same), often through contracts (like the crap Microsoft Windows Game) to achieve it. They see free and open computing as a threat. That’s why you’ll hardly every find a decent driver. After all, what’s the point of (“free”) drivers?! Like graphics cards really can’t have a built-in driver (and not some basic crap)…
Now, the sound. It took me ages to set the sound just right. Without the proper settings, the sound just isn’t right and some applications are just mute. Until recently, the sound in Firefox kept crackling. There’s another thing it took me quite long to catch up – to have good sound, you must keep the volume of a music player on half (50%) [i.e. you can only turn the sound up using the system sound mixer or the volume control on your speaker(s)].

Let’s go through software updates now. All the programs are (regularly) automatically updated and not just distribution-related stuff. That is kinda relative though, since every single thing on Linux is distribution related. Anyway, I’m trying to relate this to Windows Update, which only updates Windows components and cares not about additionally installed programs. Furthermore, automatic updates include version upgrades – I originally installed Ubuntu 8, but now I have Ubuntu 12.4, without ever installing another copy. Not only that Windows Update doesn’t include such upgrades (i.e. you can’t “update” Windows XP to Windows 7), but you’re expected to pay for such an upgrade.
KDE system tray, notifies you of updates/upgrades, and lets you choose which ones you want. Since updating doesn’t slow system performance down, not noticeably anyway, you’re wise to update every bloody thing.

More of compatibility

This topic is closely related to the software part of the previous topic. The fact is that Linux generally has poor compatibility compared to Windows. The main reason is that most people use Windows, but part of the reason lies in the fact that the global market, including computing, is dominated by multinational money grabbing companies, like Microsoft and, as I said, such companies work together to gain profit (i.e. if a free operating system, like a Linux distribution, was well covered, people would start using Linux and Microsoft would face bankruptcy, and people would soon realize that there’s bunch of free stuff for Linux thus causing the bankruptcy of other companies).

Anyway, unlike Windows, Ubutntu comes with the ability to open, edit and view most formats (including stuff like editing of Office documents, opening of PDF and even .djvu…) – you don’t need to install additional crap after you install Ubuntu.
Naturally, not every bloody thing is included, but basic stuff are. Each distribution comes with a software centre or two (I keep three – Ubuntu Software Center, Muon Software Center and Lubuntu Software Center). Software centres are programs, more like places, that enable easy software grabbing. Unfortunately, not everything can be found in a software centre. Some distributions are that honoured to have most other software available for download in a form of a package (the Linux equivalent of a Windows Installer). Among them is Debian and luckily, every Debian based distribution (including Ubuntu and Knoppix😀 ) can use a Debian package. Those are the easy ways to install things on Ubuntu. However, sometimes things are not that simple – a relatively easy way, other than through a software centre or from a package, is to install a program using a simple terminal code. Unfortunately, codes can be pretty messed up. Similar is the situation with .tar.bz2 archives. Indeed, most programs are available in a software centre or, at least, have a downloadable package – most, but not all. What I’m trying to say is that Ubuntu is ideal for basic users, who don’t use more “exotic” stuff and advanced users, who find programming easy (I often find explanations written so professionally that only the God can understand them…). We, medium skilled users, who occasionally need a not so commonly used program, are the victims. For example, I wasted hours installing Keyboard Layout Editor, MS Keyboard Layout Creator alternative (I like to add additional functionality to my keyboard😀 ). In the end, I installed the thing (don’t asked me how😀 ) and created the modification. However, I have no bloody idea how to install the modification. I even accessed the system folder with keyboard layouts, but Ubuntu tells me I need privileges to modify the content. Might I add, that I only have one account on Ubuntu? Logically, it has administrator privileges, so my question is: What bloody privileges overcome administrator? This is what I did with MS Keyboard Layout Creator (aka on Windows): double-clicked the installer, read the instructions, clicked Next a few times; started the program, modified an existing layout (i.e. Croatian) and, finally, installed the modification. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
All in all, Windows program installation is simpler than Linux program installation. Sure, software centres are easier to handle than a Window installer, but Windows installers are not hard to use at all – better that everything is relatively easy than that some stuff is way easy while the other is too bloody difficult…

Anyway, the fact is that most Windows programs have (usually a free) Linux alternative one way or the other with various levels of functionality. There’s even a somewhat decent open source GIS – Quantum GIS.

A lot of Windows programs can be installed with Wine, a Windows emulator for Linux, including many sharewares. The question is, though, whether you’ll risk paying for a program that might not work at all.


A random Windows program (i.e. Notepad++) on Ubuntu

Fonts

I don’t know why, but neither Ubuntu nor Knoppix come with, free, fonts commonly used in Windows (crap like Arial, Calibri, Comic Sans MS, Segoe UI, Times New Roman…). Those fonts can be found in a software centre though. Anyway, non-native Linux fonts often look weird, both on screen and, to a lesser extend, printed. Here are a few pics:

Even the fonts of Nelandir’s Independent Trading Co. (or however I might name the blog in the future😀 ) look different, right?


Ubuntu


Windows

Furthermore, I couldn’t find a single music player without messed up encoding:

There should be letters like Š instead of these empty boxes.

Compressed files

I’m not talking about zipped stuff. Microsoft disk format NTSF supports files on the disk to be compressed to save the space. That’s why you’ll see two size rows when you go to file properties – Size and Size on the disk.

Ubuntu doesn’t compress files even on NTSF formated disks. It is interesting though that it will read and edit compressed files, and automatically compress newly created files on drives / in folders already compressed in Windows.

Stability

People keep saying that Linux  distributions are more stable and reliable than Windows. I guess that’s generally true. After all, I wouldn’t be using Ubuntu at all if it weren’t faster since it’s only my buck-up system. Though, Ubuntu might just be faster to me ’cause I have a lot of crap on Windows.
Anyway, programs do just shut down on Ubuntu for no reason, so I’d say that the stability of Linux is exaggerated.

Firefox

Since, I mentioned Firefox a few times, by now, I must only state one complaint. That is Google Toolbar. Well, two, if you include the sound crackling, but I fixed that, so no biggie.
As you probably already know Google stopped supporting its toolbar for Firefox. That’s not a problem on Windows though ’cause you can simply install Disable Add-on Compatibility Checks Firefox add-on and then install the toolbar from a third-party website. That, however, doesn’t work on Ubuntu – Firefox still won’t let you install the toolbar.
I installed an alternative – Googlebar, but blah, it just ain’t Google Toolbar.

Dunno, maybe both the crackling sound and no Google Toolbar are telling me to switch over to Chrome, but I just love Firefox😀


Google Toolbar on Firefox 15.0.1 (Windows)

Did I say only one complaint? Okay, I meant two: web is mostly Windows made and every now and then you come across a website which is only viewed correctly on a Trident based browser (e.g. Internet Explorer). All Trident based browsers use Internet Explorer as a base. Since there’s no Internet Explorer for Linux, there are no Trident based browsers (Wine comes with an old version of Internet Explorer though; the version that can’t be used outside Wine).
Anyway, Firefox has a fix called IE Tab. The add-on switches Firefox’s Gecko engine to Trident. The only problem is that IE Tab too takes it’s power from Internet Explorer. No Internet Explorer, no IE Tab – there’s no IE tab for Linux browsers.


IE tab for Firefox (Windows).

Okay, speaking of web browsers, time for the subquest now😉

Subquest: Firefox/Iceweasel and Chromium / Google Chrome

Let’s discuss Firefox/Iceweasel first ’cause I already mentioned Iceweasel. As I said, because of a dispute or something between the Debian Project and Mozilla, Mozilla licensed software can’t be used in Debian and a few Debian based distributions. Mozilla clones are used instead. They are pretty much the same (actually, I think they have more features than their Mozilla “doners”). The only difference is the name – Iceweasel is an example of a Debian Firefox clone.
Every single Firefox add-on works on Iceweasel


Iceweasel on Knoppix (Hotmail fonts look better on Knoppix then they do in Ubuntu, right?)

Okay, now about Chromium and Google Chrome. Unlike Firefox/Iceweasel relation, Chromium is the one that Google Chrome is based on despite Google Chrome being more popular. Chromium serves like a testing ground of Google Chrome😀 Google Chrome has more features, but I have found every thing I need in Chromium. The only difference I can see is that Chromium is blueish (its icon is totally blue as opposed to the colourful icon of Google Chrome). Basically, when I say Chrome I mean any of the two browsers.
Why did I choose Chromium over Google Chrome anyway? Well, just like I use two browsers in Windows (i.e. Firefox and Internet Explorer), I wanted to use two browsers in Ubuntu. The default browser of Kubuntu is totally crappy – Rekonq (I mean it can’t even work wiht Ajax, like Hotmail, right). So I decided to install Google Chrome, which is not available in a software centre, by the way. Anyway, I faced some update issues with Google Crome, so I stopped using it. I decided to go to Opera, but again -crap. Then, I thought of Chromium, which I came across on Knoppix, and wow-la Chromium, which can be found in a software centre, by the way, turned out to be the same as Google Chrome, expect that updates work normally.
Every Google Chrome add-on works on Chromium.


Chromium

Time to conclude this thing.

Are Linux distribution better than Windows? I’d say no. After all, Ubutnu is said to be the best distribution and I just analysed Linux cons through Ubuntu.
But is Windows worth the price it costs? No, Microsoft’s pricing is just too damn high. I mean, the mere existence of Linux proves that Microsoft claims that “they have to price their software highly” in order to survive, are bunch of baloney. MS Office, itself, costs up to $500 (probably even more) a licence while an OS like Ubuntu is free and comes with all the most used stuff, including an office suite (i.e. LibreOffice, which is a very good MS Office alternative).
Furthermore, software licences can be quite limiting. Even those of freeware software, but especially Microsoft-likes.
I may not agree that people should stop using Windows, like Get Linux website does but their points against Windows are valid, especially the things considering the licence – article 1, article 2.
Another thing Get Linux points out is that the source code of Microsoft software is hidden. Because, of the fixed code, Windows is a perfect target for spyware, virus and similar crap. That works fine for big companies ’cause they can “save” people from viruses and crap, half of which they create themselves. Even though there are free(ware) (note again that there are many licence restrictions) antivirus and similar programs (AVG-Free is quite good), the fact is that if you want a decent protection, you gotta buy a program, which usually comes with one-year licence. I doubt Linux is 100% virus free, but compared to Windows, Linux distributions aren’t affected by virus and similar “bad” software. Stiil, a (free) antivirus program or two is available in Linux software centre.

Anyway, I suggest you use Linux (as the primary system) only if you are a broke copyright freak. You can get pretty much any kind of free(ware) software for Windows as long as you are willing to invest that much to buy an original Windows copy (just beware that computer dealers often trick people into thinking they bought an original – a dealer must give you Windows installation disk, you paid for) and don’t pay much attention to the licence restrictions.
Linux is still a good backup solution. If you have time you might wanna go through various Linux distributions and/or other free operating systems (e.g. Solaris).
You can simply format the Linux parturition in a format Windows doesn’t recognize, and Linux drive won’t be displayed in Windows at all.
Most Linux distributions can be installed on a Mac too, so you can have a distribution on Mac.
At the very least, you should have a copy of Knoppix.

Suggestions when buying Windows

Now, this is is written about Windows 7, but can be applied on other versions.

My suggestion is not to buy anything less than a Home Premium edition. Even if you’re totally broke, don’t buy Starter (those usually come built-in anyway). You’re better off with Linux than Windows Starter. I mean, you can’t even change the background on that crap. Avoid Home Basic because the edition is very limited (e.g. no Aero). Home Premium sounds perfect to me and should be even better than Business ’cause it has Windows Media Center. Yes, the edition is overpriced, but compared to Business and Ultimate/Enterprise, I think Home Premium is just optimal.
Ultimate and Enterprise are the same – licensing differences.

One  more thing. If you are a fellow who travels abroad (with his laptop) and you buy a Home or Business edition, I suggest you buy the English version(s) because only Ultimate and Enterprise support MUI (simple language packs). If you just stick at home and/or just have a desktop computer on a single desk or decide to buy Ultimate or Enterprise, get whatever lingo you want. Others languages are available in Windows Update of Ultimate and Enterprise.

What licence should you buy? If you are a copyright freak, buy “Windows in the box” and avoid OEM licences. They are very limiting. They don’t allow you to install Windows more than once [though Microsoft says that you should reformat your hard drive(s) every 6 months…], you can’t use the licence on other computers (general rule is 1 licence per computer), you can’t change a piece of hardware (note that a DVD drive is a “piece of hardware”)…

Getting Linux

So if you are a broke copyright freak, definitely go for Linux. What distribution should you use? Here are the download links to the distributions Get Linux suggests:
Ubuntu (Kubuntu)
Fedora
Trisquel
Out of these three, I wouldn’t suggest Trisquel though because the distribution is very limited (-ware programs simply can’t be installed, not even freeware).

If you use, a professional softaware (e.g. GIS), do not use Linux even if you’re penniless! It’s very unlikely you’ll find a decent Linux alternative. For example, there is Quantum GIS, but QGIS nothing compared to ArcGIS [Esri is a money grabbing company (they even charge for add-ons!) I mentioned, so you can forget about a Linux ArcGIS version].

If you ask me, I would recommend (K)ubuntu. Probably only ’cause I’m used to it. Dunno, maybe I’ll try Linux Mint upon one of the next disk formats.

Posted on September 25th, 2012 at 19:03 GMT
Use Time Zone Converter to quickly convert the time

Update 2012/9/27 GMT

There are two issues I face on Ubuntu I forgot to mention:
One, for some reason Internet connection can be quite laggy sometimes and can even brake totally quite often. I guess that is generally the case for any network connection, since my modem is connected through LAN. Well, I do have an USB connection but I doubt that would work since it requires additional drivers, the drivers marked on the box as Windows 200 & XP😉 At least, network connection can easily be reset in (K)buntu.
Secondly, there’s a clock issue. For some reason, every bloody time I boot Ubuntu, clock is shifted 1-2 hours ahead; it treats BIOS time as UTC and “adjusts” Ubuntu display time accordingly. Basically, the time displayed in Ubuntu is not wrong, but once I restart my computer, time in Windows (BIOS, Knoppix and probably everything else) is just displayed in GMT. I guess, I’m luck that I’m only 1 hour (2 during DST) ahead of GMT, so the difference is not that off (e.g. instead of 12:00 PM, it would say 11:00 AM in winter months). I find that kinda bad though. I mean if the difference were bigger, I would’ve noticed it immediately, and not after thinking something smells fishy and remembering I used Ubuntu last. Okay, 2 hours is quite easy to catch up, so its quite easy to spot it now, when DST is in affect, but during standard time… One hour is not that much of a difference. I remember that when the clock thingy happens during standard time, I often think like That early?! I’ve’ got an hour to myself😀 Now, that didn’t happen before my last disk format, so it’s not definite. I Googled a bit about the issue and found out that it is GMT related (the difference is like the difference between local time and GMT) I tried checkmarking and uncheckmarking Base the time on UTC (aka GMT) in time and date settings, but same thing…

Update 2012/11/29 GMT

Ubuntu just went to sleep to automatically save power on me even though the music player was playing music. I’m no expert, but I guess an OS isn’t supposed to do that… Well, that never happens on Windows.

Update 2013/2/9 GMT

I did it! I don’t know how, but I managed to make fonts look good😀 I suspect it has something to do with anti-aliasing, but  I swear I tried that many times before know and it did not work before now.

P.S. I’m talking about Ubuntu.
P.P.S. Fonts in Chromium still suck ass😦

11 thoughts on “Windows & Linux – myths and facts

  1. Tom Foe

    You have done a good post. Maybe I can add my one or two cents. While many people think Linux is an OS, Linux is a kernel. I won’t comment on how stable Ubuntu is or isn’t, but the stability has a lot more to do with than just the Linux kernel. Ubuntu, Fedora and many other distributions are often using what are considered unstable packages and/or used as a testing grounds. There are pros and cons to that as you have experienced some. Choosing the right distribution for the situation can have a big difference on stability. Personally I don’t like to use fruit that fell really far from the tree as it can sometimes help create unstable/insecure situations as well as many other reasons that I won’t type up in this reply.

    Reply
    1. Nelandir Post author

      Glad you liked it🙂
      As I said, Windows is the way to go unless you’re a broke copyright freak.
      When it comes to Linux – Knoppix on a DVD and Ubuntu on a hard drive😀
      Just yesterday I tried (KDE) Linux Mint (suggestion: do not install Linux on an external hard drive unless you want to mess up the disk format and waste time getting it back to something Windows readable). Mint looks better than Kubuntu if you ask me, but other than that… Besides, the appearance of KDE can be personalized a lot anyway.
      The thing that made me send Mint to hell was the absence of a software centre. Mint has a “Software Manager” which is pretty much the same as a software centre, but it’s not that rich in programs [e.g. there’s no QGIS (I tried entering Ubuntu terminal codes, but I can’t get it installed, which, of course, doesn’t mean it can’t be installed on Mint, but again, I’m not an advanced user)]. Similarly to QGIS, Ubuntu Software Center (I thought I might grab other software centres through Ubuntu Software Center😉 ) can be installed through the terminal, but I’ve had no luck.
      Dunno, maybe I should try Fedora, but after going through this Fedora-Ubuntu comparison, I think I’ll stick to Ubuntu. Well, to Windows, of course, but Ubuntu is good enough for a backup😉

      Reply
  2. Tom Foe

    I was trying to be kind to M$ and some distributions in my last post without being too blunt about it.

    The Linux kernel is not an operating system so the distributions you’ve tried may have had nothing to do with the Linux kernel for the instability you’ve experienced. The OS distributions you speak of are unstable for many reasons. I pointed out in my last post that Ubuntu uses many unstable packages and knows it and Fedora is a testing grounds for RedHat. Fedora might be a way to go for you due to the fact that they might have the program you want to use, but Fedora might also not be very stable for you(I’m not sure). My OS of choice is Debian GNU/Linux which I’ve ran servers without reboot for one to two years at a time while serving information to the world and desktop/workstations for nine months without a reboot while being used heavy every day and night. Debian GNU/Linux in general is far more stable and secure than some other operating systems which I won’t outright say😉. Debian updates are for stability/security instead of wasting time on the latest version numbers of software.

    For most users of opensource *nix type OSes using them has nothing to do with being a broke copyright freak. Opensource *nix type OSes can be very stable/secure and can be improved upon over time instead of reinventing the wheel. With opensource anyone that knows how to read and write code can screen what they are interested in for flaws and make it known to the public on a global level that there is an issue that needs to be addressed(they can also contribute). With M$ users of their software just have to rely on M$ keeping all the information and code hidden from the public which I personally can’t risk. I want to help move forward, not backwards.

    Here’s something that might be fun to try.. Virtualbox-nonfree or Virtualbox-ose from your software center and then you can run an OS within your OS for testing. Probably can get Virtualbox for Windows too. Then download different Distribution ISO’s and install them using Virtualbox. All installs are contained and can be deleted at any time and can be given however many GB you decide to make the container.

    Reply
    1. Nelandir Post author

      Hmm… I’ve never thought of actually installing Debian itself. Dunno, I read crap that more stuff work on Ubuntu because Debian is like totally against everything but open source. People say that Ubuntu is simplified Debian. Anyway, I might indeed try Debian, but Ubuntu will suffice for now.

      Speaking of stability, I’m not criticising Ubuntu, or any other distribution, for being unstable. The truth is that Windows is often quite unstable (especially if you consider how much you paid for it). I’m just saying that the whole Linux stability thing is overrated.

      I do agree with your pro open source stance (and I love your Micro$oft spelling😀 ), but the fact is that Windows is the way to go for basic and (especially) medium skilled users. People often want someone else to fix their computer problems (e.g. Micro$oft) anyway.

      I mentioned broke copyright freaks as in people who are obsessed with following licences to the letter, so they’d rather use something that is more difficult, at least to them, than not follow the licence to the letter. Personally, I don’t see why wealthier people should be favoured. After all, people with less money buy weaker hardware anyway.

      I’m definitely not discouraging people from using Linux (I did say that everybody should have a copy of Knoppix😉 ). Just wanted to tell people Linux is not all you usually hear about it – an übersystem😉

      Reply
  3. Tom Foe

    I agree that there is a time and place for Windows and that’s why I don’t try to push users to be rid of it. Wine can work to get some Windows software to work on a distro and other times not. I haven’t needed to use any software specific to running on Windows for over ten years so I don’t really pay much attention to what’s going on with Wine.

    People are used to a certain product so thats how they expect a graphical user interface to be. Debian GNU/Linux is what I’m used to and have been working with for many years so to me the OS is easy. It is understandable that something different from the common way may not be friendly to how our minds have already been programmed to do the same task. I personally can’t stand the default GUI for Ubuntu, but it is their choice and with opensource software we have developers all over the world using that to move forward. Anyways, I can’t say if a certain OS is easier to use because it depends on what ones needs are, but one thing I can say is that my grammer is gramatically incorrect and I don’t care😉

    The Debian Squeeze ISO cd number one would be a good one to download to install into Virtualbox and when Debian Wheezy is released some time in the near future that would be an great OS to try out in Virtualbox.

    Reply
    1. Nelandir Post author

      Yeah, what you’re used to and your needs are most important. Needs of advanced fellows are quite different than those of non-advanced folk😉

      I don’t mind the different appearance of various OS (e.g. those that I most often use – Windows, Ubuntu and Knoppix). Sure, it takes me some time to get the hang of it, but that’s all😀 Maybe, I like KDE so much because it’s similar to Windows (at least, I made the environment of my Kubuntu look Windows-like). Generally, I don’t like GNOME that much, but blah, that’s only me. I like the appearance of both Unity (i.e. the default Ubuntu environment) and Cinnamon, but I find KDE easier.

      What does Linux have to do with grammar?😮

      Reply
  4. Tom Foe

    There are users out there that look thru posts for people that didn’t cross their T’s or dot their i’s so if they see something they don’t agree with sometimes they attack with the fact that someone didn’t spell correctly or didn’t use correct punctuation or made a drag on sentence and so forth so I beat them to it😉

    Gnome 3 has a fancy twist which most long time users are not used to, but their is a classic mode which is nice for users like me although I will slowly migrate over to using the new mode. Gnome 2 is IMO very much like Windows in it’s lay out by default, but different enough to not look like Windows.

    With Debian you can choose to closed source software show up in the software center. The current stable release for the average user I would not try to dual boot the machine unless you read a lot about it and have everything backed up. For the next stable release of Debian which will be sometime soon that would be very well worth having as a dual boot for the average user now days as I do think the installer will be able to partition and setup the dual boot for you just like Ubuntu does, but I’m not 100% for sure on that. See Debian goes with what is stable/secure in it’s releases while Ubuntu and a lot of other Distro’s want to use the latest which is good in some ways, but bad in other. Either way their are pros and cons to all OSes. To me as long as their is forward movement of development one way or another then another day was a good day(I think😉 )

    Reply
    1. Nelandir Post author

      I don’t attack people for not agreeıng wıth me, not grammatıcly at least. I’m sorry ıf I left you such ımpressıon😦
      Besides, I hardly disagree with you. Okay, I find Windows better and you Debian. But we see eye to eye when it comes to open source software.

      As I said, I don’t like GNOME, which doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the environment.

      Indeed, I might go for Debian in the future, but for now Windows, Ubuntu (and Knoppix) will suffice😀

      Reply
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