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Re: Why Linux is Easier to Use than Mac OS X or Windows

In article <e06n63$16bv$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
 Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> >> * Easier to Get: It's Free!
> > 
> > Actually, it's easier for the end user to buy a Mac and turn it on
> > than to download Linux and install it. Heck, even if you buy OSX
> > seperately, it's easier to install than most Linux distros.
> You can buy a machine with Linux pre-installed.

True - but finding them isn't always easy, and even if they are you're 
only "just as" easy as Windows and OSX.

> Many vendors do this nowadays
> and this is /far/ cheaper (for low end -- as cheap as ~$150 in the US) than
> the offerings from Apple.

That goes without saying - but we're not talking price here. I can 
afford my Macs without breaking a sweat, so. :-D

> >> * Regular "Full" Releases
> > 
> > Just like OSX.
> Untrue. Compare Ubuntu and OS X, for example.

You have to do better than that - what would such a comparison show? 
OSX comes with a regular new full release pretty much every year. 
Windows hasn't been released for five years, so... :-D

> >> * More Hardware Compatible
> > 
> > Than Windows? Than Macs, sure. Typically, a regular user doesn't have
> > to be compatible with EKG machines, or radioation panel controllers.
> > They're happy if they can use a digital camera, a DV cam and a
> > bluetooth cell phone.
> Which is *exactly* what Linux can achieve at present.

And Windows, and OSX - with ease (OSX anyway). 

> Any device that I
> plug-in is  automatically detected, or mounted, or made available as a
> service.

Exactly like in OSX.

> No need for additional software either, with the exception of
> occasional software/driver installation (especially in YaST, not Ubuntu's
> Synaptic/apt-get). Drivers are bundled to the distribution's base or get
> fetched transparently over the Net.

Most of the above mentioned is directly supported by OSX, and no 
additional drivers are needed.

> >> * KDE
> > 
> > Surely you're not counting KDE as one of the reasons why *Linux* is
> > easier to use than OSX? I mean, if you're going to pick an "easy"
> > window manager, wouldn't you have picked Gnome? Plus, actually list
> > why? :)
> Not my own words, bear in mind.

Yeah, but I want pretend they are for the sake of argument. :)

> Choose your poison and go with it. At least Linux gives *choice*, which often
> makes it adaptable to a wider range of available hardware.

Having choice isn't always a good thing for a general user, since he 
has to educate himself enough to be able to make the choice. If he 
doesn't, then he is using the default setting and any strength of 
"choice" is lost. I.e. the distro maker makes his choice, not him.

> >> * Unified Installation Database
> > 
> > What does that mean? Package Management? I'm afraid most package
> > management tools look rather arcane to a general user, who doesn't
> > have an interest in seeing things like "aalib1 - ascii art library" in
> > their choices for installable software.
> Explanation by example: how can you update Firefox automatically in OSX?

Bad example - doesn't Firefox update itself automatically? I'm pretty 
sure it does in OSX at least. You get a dialog that says "A new 
version has been released" and a button to download the new version, 
which downloads, installs and restarts Firefox.

> Or Web server software? The answer is you cannot. You need to tour
> around the Web, picking up binaries for all your third-party
> applications.

Not at all. I've been over this with Kelsey lately.

VersionTracker is an application that can be set to automatically 
download updates at a set interval. VT updates userland applications 
such as PhotoShop or the Mail client.

MacUpdate is another userland update tool, but I haven't tried it.

Fink is a CLI application for the BSD part that's actually a source 
package management tool that is based on apt-get and works exactly 
like apt-get. FinkCommander is the GUI for it. It will list 
applications such as apache or imagemagick.

Darwin Ports is another BSD part update/download utility, but I 
haven't tried it.

As you see, lots of options. :)

> Linux does not have such issues. Mac OS X and Windows are still behind Linux
> in that respect. They take no responsibility for so-called 'plug-ins', such
> as a graphical toolkit, a PDF reader or security-oriented software.

That's just not true. Plus, with Linux package management you have to 
wait for software to hit the repositories, you can't have the latest 
version until it is there. Plus, most (all?) package management tools 
doesn't handle commercial applications, which the OSX solutions do.

> >> * True Out-of-Box Experience
> > 
> > Out-of-box? What does that mean? It works right out of the box? Surely
> > you're not giving this as a point to Linux and not to OSX?
> Have you read the item at all? I provided a link. *smile*

I read only the things you listed. :)

> >> * Easier to Customize
> > 
> > Easier to customize doesn't actually equate to easier to use.
> It does. I like it when window focus follows mouse. Let us say I have always
> done that. How can I ever cope with windows (assuming no hackware)? Will it
> make it easier for me to use the environment in a way which is predictable
> _to me_? No. The vendor makes such decisions arrogantly and leaves no choice
> or neglects further implementation.

But you're talking familiarity, not ease of use. Ease of use can only 
be measured on someone that isn't already familiar with a way to do 
things and have bias/prejudice. Focus-follows-mouse is something you 
have grown to be familiar, not something that instantly made computing 
easier for you the first time you sat down using a computer.

Too many options for customization is generally just confusing for the 
end user. The KDE control panels are a myriad of options and selection 
boxes. The sheer complexity of the control panels will scare new users 
to just use the defaults.

> >> * Huge Support Community
> > 
> > Because it needs lots of support?
> No. Because there are not many Linux professional around who charge $30 an
> hour for help with the computer. Windows Most Valued Professionals and Apple
> stores know how to make that after-sale revenue.

Now now, be fair now. Most after-sale support money goes to people 
cleaning Windows from malware, which neither OSX nor Linux have.

Both OSX and Linux enjoy large support "tech" networks that a savvy 
user can tap into to fix nitty gritty stuff. As far as I know, there 
isn't a huge Newbie-support system for either system, which would have 
to be somewhat integrated into the system.

That's a novel idea, though. Having "Help" in the menu list the 
general help and the "chat with help community" link would open a chat 
client to a online help forum, such as IRC or something.

> >> * Installing Apps
> > 
> > Unless you want the latest version, or a commercial application. :)
> That's just cynical.

What do you mean? All systems have weaknesses - LInux package 
management systems do too.

> >> * There is a Distro for Everything
> > 
> > But not one distro for everything? :)
> Again, cynicism.

In what way? The definition of "cynicism" is:

    "person who believes that people are motivated purely by 
     self-interest rather than acting for honorable or
     unselfish reasons"

I fail to see how that applies.


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