Thursday, April 02, 2009

Free is hard *whine*

Liberty and personal responsibility are strange beasts that in todays world of regulations and bailouts, such ideas are foreign at best.

On the Mac vs. Linux argument, a leaked presentation by Steve Ballmer showed that from their own internal research, Linux and pirated windows is what hits them the hardest. Just in desktop space alone, 1 of 4 copies of windows are pirated, and Linux on the desktop outnumbers mac by more than 2 to 1.

Linux is particularly strange because anything that could be called marketing just doesn't operate in the way we have been trained to look at it. Ubuntu and Linux in general make solid baby steps, and with regard to anything that is important to you, that is actively being developed, the speed of development is blindingly fast. How many times in alpha would you report a bug only to have the problem fixed and an update available within < 24 hours. Scary. But if you are just standing back waiting to see how it is going to look different, it is unlikely you will see much.

Microsoft taks about great this, and great that, and while I was reasonably happy with XP (till SP2), there really wasn't anything XP ever offered that couldn't be got from 98 and 2000. It was great they brought them together, and I am sure it was a lot of work, but even from 98/2000 to 7... has WHAT you do changed really changed so much? I see many changes in how things are done, but not what is done... at least in so far as what Microsoft actually does. For what I do, the tools provided for Linux, and particularly Ubuntu, let me do more things in more creative ways where the time saved due directly to the efforts of the developers is greatly appreciated. The more I get involved in development, the more I am amazed how many projects are one person in a MASSIVE bottom up structure. Put in a little effort, and it is easy to have a direct influence... assuming you can actually make a constructive contribution.

Windows does give a great amount of comfort and stability. If something doesn't work, there may be one thing to try, and after that, your done. Anything breaks, just reinstall. Very easy and simple. In Linux, one is always drowning in possibilities. If something doesn't work, there is unlimited number ways to go about resolving the issue, and if it is broken, you never really know if it will be fixed tomorrow, a year from now, or never. Some people just can't and don't want that type of close relationship with their computer.

Windows is like riding the bus, and Linux is like owning a car... in too many ways.

and imo, Mac is like the trolley at Disneyland.

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