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Re: What Linux Can Do

__/ [Kier] on Saturday 07 January 2006 13:09 \__

> I do wonder sometimes, when I read all these silly posts that claim this,
> that, or the other 'can't be done' using Linux. Especially in the area of
> media creation.

I think I could add a few items that you neglected to list, perhaps for the
sake of brevity. Music and media management in Linux has improved
tremendously and I see peers who struggle to achieve only less than Linux
can offer. AmaroK and SongBird are two examples, among more.

The 'noise' factor of Linux applications rarely equates to that of mainstream
applications. True it is even though functionality deserves some more
credit. Photoshop has become a dictionary-like term in the context of
graphics much like Google in the context of search. If you mentioned
searching the Web without Google, people would give you the crook eye, as if
you are ignorant (let us leave truths aside for this argument). With GIMP,
GIMPShop, Blender and Inkscape around, you still find that people do not
perceive them as /brand/ names, thus "they must suck".

> Certainly, there are a couple of things *I* can't currently do in Linux,
> but that is not down to a deficiency in Linux, but in my hardware, most of
> which was bought while I was still a regular Windows-user. Now that I'm a
> Linux user and Windows is just an occasional option that I don't much
> bother with, I buy my hardware with Linux in mind, so naturally it is
> going to work.

With the migration, come several changes according to my personal experience.
Over the years I moved 3 machines from dual-boot or Windows to pure Linux.
The changes are:

* All hardware is fully compatible because it is purchased with the O/S in

* Better awareness of what application should be used for which task, hence
no hesitance, delay

* Convenience with look-and-feel, options and preferences 'orientation', e.g.
KDE, GNOME, Control Center, YaST as opposed to Device Manager, Control
Panel, etc.

* Knowledge and fluency with fundamental utilities, e.g. mastering the
command-line, SSH functionality, virtual desktops, keyboard accelerators,
SCP and automated backed, cron jobs.

> So, can video capture and editing be done with Linux? Of course it can.
> You can even build your own PVR box, using MythTV, a project I had in mind
> at one time.
> What about audio? There are no 'professional' audio apps, but there are
> plenty of amatuer ones, and let's face it, most people doing audio stuff
> on their PCs aren't pros, they're just doing it for fun. There are even a
> couple of media-rich 'live' distros, like Dyne:bolic, for instance, or
> Studio to Go, if you don't want to install.

Work is now being done on a Debian-based distribution that is intended for
media professionals, audio in particular if I recall correctly.

> It may be said with some fairness that Linux audio apps don't make it as
> easy for the user as Windows apps do, but one the other hand, they're much
> more adaptable and versatile, and can be combined in fresh and innovative
> ways to create music. It may take a little more time to set up, but it
> repays the investment.
> One of the more ludicrous claims I've also read recently is that Linux
> won't reliably burn CDs or DVDs.

It's down to the hardware. Any such claims are ridiculous. They are the
artefact of disinformation.

> I'm not going to pretend I never burnt a coaster in Linnux - but nor am I
> going to claim I haven't done the same in Windows. It happens. At least
> with Linux, you get some idea of *why* you burnt that coaster, so you can
> avoid doing it again.
> Usually, though, it's just as reliable as Windows. Apps like K3b make
> it a breeze to do, or you can go the quick and dirty command line
> route (one of the first Linux tasks my brother ever showed me was how to
> burn a CD on the command line). Simple.

This caters for automation. Have you ever tried using bloatware to do
something in batch mode without user intervention? Perhaps a nightly job?
That requirement is rarely catered for, if ever.

> As for *watching* DVDs, well, you can do that too. Yes, you usually need
> to download libDVDcss, but that isn't the fault of Linux. Install it, via
> your distro package manager or from an independent rpm, and away you go.
> Sorted.
> Often, on a Saturday night, rather than dig out a CD I listen to streaming
> music. My computer is hooked up to my regular music system and I'm on
> broadband, so it sounds pretty good. So, where's the problem?
> Answer: it's in the minds of the anti-Linux crowd, who don't want to admit
> Linux can do all these things.

People believe what they wish to believe. I have met people who consider
exercise to be unhealthy.

> I just wonder at the reasons why they're so scared of Linux that they feel
> compelled to write lying nonsense about it day after day. It's a bit sad.
> They must have such empty little lives.

It is a matter of self-protection -- the Defence of one's best skills and
true beliefs that must never be shattered. They lead to an inner-conflict

> In the meantime, I'm enjoying Linux and looking forward to all the
> exciting new developments coming our way during 2006.

Mee too. Nice post, Kier.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Useless fact: There are five regular polyhedra
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  5:35pm  up 28 days  0:46,  13 users,  load average: 0.22, 0.52, 0.60
      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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