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Re: Windows, Linux and the Cattle Effect

  • Subject: Re: Windows, Linux and the Cattle Effect
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 15:16:43 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <4086975.PkKuA2fQTm@linux.ziggynet> <pNzVe.69924$xl6.7781@tornado.tampabay.rr.com> <b3joiv8cd7yd.dlg@winxp02.ziggynet> <PoDVe.69991$xl6.43547@tornado.tampabay.rr.com> <1762397.W4os74A7ku@linux.ziggynet> <BbXVe.48256$4i6.216@tornado.tampabay.rr.com> <1ju42usghavf5$.dlg@winxp02.ziggynet> <q__Ve.69133$p_1.55306@tornado.tampabay.rr.com> <Ch%Ve.194092$NW2.10520637@phobos.telenet-ops.be> <kH1We.75613$xl6.17225@tornado.tampabay.rr.com> <n83We.194289$6O4.10576962@phobos.telenet-ops.be> <os4We.77402$xl6.9068@tornado.tampabay.rr.com> <Je7We.194352$WA.10656811@phobos.telenet-ops.be> <hCfWe.84978$xl6.31543@tornado.tampabay.rr.com> <u9mWe.195146$2K3.10357859@phobos.telenet-ops.be> <RonWe.52188$4i6.28706@tornado.tampabay.rr.com> <YgpWe.195275$CY5.10362926@phobos.telenet-ops.be>
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__/ [Aragorn] on Friday 16 September 2005 02:32 \__

> On Friday 16 September 2005 01:24, billwg stood up and spoke the
> following words to the masses...:
>> "Aragorn" <stryder@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
>> news:u9mWe.195146$2K3.10357859@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> > What can you do with Unix/Gnu/linux that you cannot do with
>>> > Windows, aragorn?
>>> Well, as it just so happens to be, I have had this very same question
>>> asked to me on another (distro-specific) newsgroup only yesterday,
>>> and by another MS/imperialism advocate.  I will therefore refrain
>>> from summing up all the things that Gnu/Linux allows me to do and
>>> Windows doesn't.
>>> However, if the above does need to be spelled out for you, then you
>>> have clearly only ever worked with Windows and never with any UNIX
>>> clone, *or* *else* you do have the experience but you're lying
>>> through your teeth.

Very few users who have switched to Linux ever 'come back', the reason

-Once you are _experienced_ with Linux, you can truly understand how much
Windows lacks.

[see more below]

>> I didn't really believe that you had any specifics, aragorn.  All of
>> you folk have the same empty bag.
> In other words, you _were_ indeed lying through your teeth.  If you
> really are so good as you want us to believe you are, then you should
> know that:
> (1) UNIX systems can be installed over several and distinctly different
> filesystems, while Windows piles up everything inside one partition;

-The analogy I would use is a fleet of 20 trucks for deliveries compared
with one giant ship that cannot deliver efficiently.

> (2) several of the UNIX filesystems can be mounted read-only in a
> runtime environment, which Windows does not allow;

-A Windows user would often raise the question "why would you want to do
that?". This implies that (s)he has not any experience handling more than
one machine, as opposed to distributed environments.

> (3) Gnu/Linux comes with all the tools for configuring and tweaking your
> system, and allows you the freedom to do that.  Windows comes as it is,
> and if you want anything special, you're gonna have to pay extra for
> that;

-That's due to the differences in ideaology.

> (4) UNIX systems do not require reboots _during_ the installation of
> either the operating system or any application software - unless you
> plan on changing the kernel.  Changing /glibc/ doesn't even require a
> reboot if you manually run /ldconfig/ afterwards.  Windows...  Well, we
> know how that works...;

-Poor us... we never have a reason to take coffee breaks.

> (5) In UNIX-style operating systems, all application software is
> integrated into the operating system itself, forming one big toolbox
> with multiple tools to do the same job, from which you take what you
> need or what suits you best.  In Windows, the only integration is that
> every configuration option is stored inside the Registry, which
> contains both human-readable and non-human-readable information, along
> with lots of unnecessary and economy-related keys and leftovers;

-This often requires re-installation of the operating system. O/S
restoration and data overhaul is /extremely/ time-consuming to those who do
not just purge mail once read and surf the 'Net by banging in addresses in
the address bar.

> (6) When the Linux kernel pages out memory to the disk, it does so to a
> dedicated partition which is formatted so that it resembles the layout
> of the physical memory.  In Windows, memory is paged out to a swapfile,
> which is treated like any other file and therefore occupies a place in
> the cache memory again.  Quite nonsensical!;

-Probably the remains of an antiquated mechanism dating back to Windows 3,
if not earlier. With huge memory capcity at present, it is high time
Windows was redesigned.

> (7) UNIX systems do not make the distinction between the computer and
> every storage device attached to it.  There is one root directory, from
> which everything else stems.  Data is stored on the computer, not on a
> /sea-drive./  Windows uses drive denominations which date back to the
> days of CP/M, when microcomputers could only handle floppy disks and
> switching disks around was an everyday task;

-Very much so. The Windows system hierarchy is irrational, with the desktop
at the top (bottom depending how you perceive it) of the tree, which might
make sense physically (computer on top of your desk), yet be confusing to
anyone but people who have /always/ used (an illegal copy of) Windows.

> (8) UNIX systems are the systems of choice for distributed computing.
> Windows can't even control its own underlying hardware very well and
> will fail grossly once it tries to access defective or unresponsive
> hardware, because it didn't bother to index and test the hardware
> during the boot process.
> Do you need me to go on?

-I see how my colleagues try to run experiments effectively on Windows
machines. The most they can ever handle is one computational server using
VNC. Nobody else can remotely log in to dozens of machines and collect
results of overnight experiments. Windows is not stable and remote access
is in its diapers in terms of power and flexibility.

>>> Either way, anyone who has any IT experience and who has been at the
>>> helm of both UNIX and Windows *knows* that Windows is a poor excuse
>>> for an operating system and an awful waste of computer resources (and
>>> money).
>> So why do they continue to buy more Windows each year?  The facts are
>> not on your side, aragorn.

-Marketing does not necessarily reflect on the quality of a product. Look
who is running your country at the moment...

> Because of their enormous investment in marketing and public relations.
> The facts _are_ on my side, but you're just blowing smoke as a decoy.
> Everyone knows people are cattle.  Or do you suppose that Hitler was
> right because he got all of Germany to hate the Jews in the 1930's?
>>> But I'll give you this one: I am yet to see Windows running on an IBM
>>> S/390 though...
>> Well, if/when I get myself an S/390 I'll look into what it needs to
>> run.
> You were asking about something Windows couldn't do.  You got what you
> asked for.  Gnu/Linux runs quite well on the S/390.
>>> > Certainly there are millions of Windows installations in the
>>> > upscale areas of servers, ignoring the half billion or so desktops
>>> > which are almost all Windows based.
>>> There are far many more millions of servers running some UNIX-style
>>> operating system.  They are generally also known to be far more
>>> stable and secure, and they have a far lower TCO.
>> That isn't the conventional story, aragorn.  There are a lot fewer
>> unix machines although the ones in existence are said to have much
>> higher capacity than the Intel-powered machines characteristic of
>> Windows.
> You are twisting the facts.  UNIX way outnumbers Windows in the server
> market, and a big part of those UNIX machines are Gnu/Linux machines.
> Another big part is taken by FreeBSD/OpenBSD.
> SGI, Hewlett Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems are four of the world's
> leading server manufacturers, and their machines all run either a
> proprietary UNIX or Gnu/Linux, with the latter gaining momentum in the
> sales of such servers.

I would only add the fact that people in the backroom know their field and
use the best that is available. They are less susceptible to the 'cattle
effect' just as a politician is less likely to call for a nuclear strike
than Average Joe.

>>> > This presumes that tens of thousands of professional system
>>> > administrators have made some sort of decision to adopt Windows and
>>> > made that decision in an environment that was fully aware of
>>> > alternatives.
>>> You are obviously missing the fact that Microsoft Windows is not
>>> offered as a choice, but is *pushed* as the only possible choice
>>> marketwise, and that many professional system's administrators are
>>> Microsoft-indoctrinated, which already starts in their College
>>> education.
>> Pushed by whom?  "The Devil made me do it!" is the universal
>> explanation for the desktop, but not very long ago there were no
>> Windows servers at all.  Who started the ball rolling?
> Microsoft did.  Everyone knows they will go to whatever length just to
> make sure that whatever unconquered territory there may be - read:
> potential customers - are getting hooked.  They even use bribing and
> threatening if they have to.
> The reason for their quite recent decision to actively jump on the
> server market is simply the allegory of the Devil in the barrel of Holy
> Water.
> They feel the breath of the penguin and they are scared beyond their
> wits, so they engage in the battle, using the same, proven techniques
> as before: spread FUD, spread more FUD, threaten, bribe, etc.

Right on point.

>>> We have so-called IT specialists here who don't even *know* anything
>>> other than Windows, because that is how they were educated.
>> How do you get along?
> I don't get along with those people.  The word "here" was a reference to
> my country.  Other countries are more sane.  Germany for instance uses
> FOSS as one of the cornerstones of their IT education.
>>> Add to that the corporate snobism in Europe where corporate
>>> executives - who know very little about IT - would rather deal with
>>> other corporate names.  Gnu/Linux does not sound very corporate to
>>> them and is rather unknown.  And we have a saying here that goes
>>> "Unknown is unloved".
>> Well, Sun Solaris and the other branded unix varieties have plenty of
>> traditional acceptance, aragorn, so how did Mr. Softee get into their
>> shops?
> Through arrogance, threats, bribes, clever marketing, playing into
> certain corporate egos, buzzwords, etc.  Their products don't sell
> because they are so good, they sell because their salesmen are so
> effective.
> You can argue that this is an empty statement, but I can assure you that
> I personally know someone who can sell anything he wants without that
> he even fully knows what he's selling.
> He currently has a computer store and he's selling computers like
> sandwiches, although he himself can't even work with a computer -
> including computers with Windows on them.
> It's all in the rap, and we live in a media-driven society, full of
> apathy and dumb people.  This truly is the Devil's playground.  People
> are like sheep, and Microsoft is a greedy, gluttonously hungry wolf.
>>> If you - not you personally! - have a one-track mind - as most of the
>>> politicians do - then the only names that ring a bell to you are
>>> those with a stock ticker, and then politicians choose to adopt
>>> Microsoft software into the education department and into the
>>> government IT infrastructure itself.
>>> Microsoft makes sure that it spreads enough FUD around to neutralize
>>> the advocation of something like Gnu/Linux that is yet unknown to the
>>> public.
>>> It's not about choice, it's about indoctrination.
>> You call it indoctrination, others call it education.  Are you so sure
>> you are right?
> Education is teaching people.  Indoctrination is conditioning people
> that what you say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
> truth, and that everything else is irrelevant.
>>> > Windows came along after unix was well established and prospering
>>> > in the IT shops. How did it take hold if it had no merit?
>>> UNIX was proprietary and highly expensive.  UNIX systems also require
>>> that the operator knows enough about information technology to be
>>> able to install and work with it.  Windows focused on the uneducated
>>> end-user and was marketed with a lot more zeal.
>> Would you then admit that there is a need amongst the people who lack
>> the ability to handle a unix system?
> Yes I would, and I believe I did that earlier on in this thread.  If I
> haven't, then it was probably in that other advocacy thread in the
> other newsgroup.
> I did tell the other guy to take it to this newsgroup instead, though.
>> Should they do without any solution as a sort of punishment for their
>> ignorance?  I bet they don't think that you are a very useful advisor,
>> aragorn!
> Don't jump to conclusions!  I am willing to acknowledge that there *is*
> a place for Windows out there.
> What I'm not willing to accept is the statement that Windows would be so
> much better than Gnu/Linux, because that's first grade FUD, and
> everyone knows that in the meantime.
>> I bet these people are grateful that Bill Gates came along and had
>> more charity in his heart than you seem to possess!  LOL!!!
> Cute.  Instead of being so self-satisfied, try reading what I'm saying
> instead of putting words into my mouth.  We'd get along better if you
> were at least to try.
>>> >> This power demands a tremendous responsibility of the system's
>>> >> administrator, and there are plenty of people out there who aren't
>>> >> fit to take that responsibility upon them.
>>> There, I even wrote it in my previous reply.  I wonder why you missed
>>> that...
>> You really consider that to be an explanation?
> Of course it is.  I just used a different wording.  Serious IT needs
> should be met by serious operating systems and serious computer
> operators.
> Windows has a different value and should be used accordingly.
>>> > You might consider that arrogance is not limited to just name
>>> > calling, aragorn.
>>> I can assure you that I'm far less arrogant than those who twist the
>>> facts around.
>>> One could by the same token say that it's pretty arrogant to reduce
>>> the first character of my nick to a lowercase.  It may be a nick, but
>>> on Usenet it's my name.  One could even go further and say that it is
>>> known to be an established technique to make your opponent feel less
>>> worthy.
>> Well, don't feel special, aragorn, I do it without regard to race,
>> color, or creed!
> Oh, in that case I ought to thank you for being condescending without
> discriminating... <evil grin>
>>>> Are you so certain that these Windows shops are in such continual
>>>> trouble?
>>> What do you mean by "Windows shops"?  Places where Windows is being
>>> used?  Yes, they are in constant trouble.  Most of my friends use
>>> Windows, and just about everyone in my family who owns a computer has
>>> Windows on it.
>>> Guess who they call when they find themselves in trouble again?
>> I doubt if it is you!  "Oh, damn, the XP machine isn't working again!
>> I guess I'll call up aragorn and have him blow me some shit!"  LOL!!!
> Actually, I do make some funny anti-Microsoft comments when I first
> arrive on the scene, as most of them know that I use and advocate
> Gnu/Linux, but I then use whatever experience I have to try and help
> them, and I'm not trying to "sell" Gnu/Linux to them unless they're
> genuinely interested.
> I also warn everyone about the differences between Gnu/Linux and
> Windows.  People generally consider me to be a good teacher.
>>> > It just doesn't seem likely that people with such a high level of
>>> > technical qualification would tolerate this for any length
>>> > of time.  How is it that you can see where the others cannot?
>>> That's very easy: I prefer to keep my eyes open and I care about the
>>> truth.  The majority of the people don't care about the truth.  They
>>> are lazy and they want to be led like a flock of sheep.
>>> Maybe my autism has something to do with the fact that I see through
>>> the plastic goodie-two-shoes atmosphere that's being created.
>> Oh.
> I'm not sure what kind of reaction that is, but I'll give you the
> benefit of the doubt... ;-)
>>> >> The very existence of Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Millenium
>>> >> Edition were the very proof of how little respect for technology
>>> >> _and_ for its customers Microsoft had.
>>> >>
>>> >> While OS/2, UNIX, BeOS and Mac OS were already running at 32-bit
>>> >> level, the aforementioned Windows versions all still ran on top of
>>> >> a conveniently hidden MS-DOS kernel, using DPMI (DOS Protected
>>> >> Mode Interface) for memory addressing, but constantly resetting
>>> >> the CPU to switch to real mode for the execution of about 60% of
>>> >> its codebase.
>>> >>
>>> >> If you choose to defend such a system while knowing all the above
>>> >> - and I'm surely not saying anything new there - then you are
>>> >> prostituting yourself.  That, or you'd have to be a Darwinian
>>> >> megalomaniac who believes that the weak exist so that the strong
>>> >> can exploit them.
>>> >>
>>> >> Either way, I see no integrity in such an attitude.
>>> >
>>> > The people selling OS/2, UNIX, BeOS and Mac OS to the world had the
>>> > same opportunity as Microsoft to sell their wares, aragorn.
>>> IBM never invested as much into the marketing of OS/2 as Microsoft
>>> did with Windows.  They were mainly focusing on the one market where
>>> they knew they were safe: the minicomputer and mainframe market.
>>> Commercial UNIX versions such as Solaris, NeXtSTep or SCO were far
>>> too expensive to the end-user in comparison to a DOS + Windows
>>> set-up. Novell was focusing on Netware, which is a dedicated server
>>> operating system.  They were a longtime competitor to Microsoft's LAN
>>> Manager, by the way.
>>> Apple was focusing on the graphical workstation market, with elitist
>>> pricing.  Yet, it has established its place on the market in DTP
>>> environments.
>>> BeOS failed, mainly due to the fact that the operating system never
>>> had any mainstream hardware support.  It only ran on a very tight
>>> range of hardware configurations.
>> So your theory is that everyone else chucked?  But why blame Microsoft
>> for not being as inept?
> The above is not "my theory" at all.  The above are historical facts.
> It is also quite logical that the demand for marketing efforts with all
> of the above was quite a lot higher _because_ of Microsoft's aggressive
> marketing techniques, which gradually lost all track of dignity and
> honesty over the years.
>>> When the time arose that Microsoft seemingly had nothing standing in
>>> its way anymore for its conquest of the desktop, it began a campaign
>>> to ensure that nothing ever could again.  It did so by spreading FUD
>>> and by misconditioning and indoctrinating the masses.
>> You snooze, you lose, eh?
> Come again?

It is not a question of momentum either. Momentum affects the mind of the
people only, but not the state of the O/S. While the majority of people in
this world only know of one operating system (most do not know the Mac
either), you could never argue that Windows won (note: you used the term


PS - BG, since I learned your childish behaviour in a previous thread, I
will point out that this reply was /not/ proofread.

Roy S. Schestowitz      | $> unzip; ping; mount /usr; grep; umount& sleep
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    |     PGP-Key: 74572E8E
  2:45pm  up 22 days  2:59,  3 users,  load average: 0.07, 0.30, 0.31

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