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  1. #21

    I hear you, Dan, but I don't agree. I've been fooling around with personal computers since I breadboarded my first 8080 in the 1970's. I've seen the introduction of CP/M, DOS, Windows and OS2 as well as a few "better" versions of operating systems for Intel chips. I'm a rusty but competent programmer and I spent 15 years of my life in the personal computer industry. So, while I am a rank beginner with Linux, I'm pretty knowledgeable around computers.

    No doubt that competition between the distributors of Linux have improved Linux. That's a given. But that has made it better for Linux users not given it what it needs to attract and keep non-Linux users. I know I can buy a large company type accounting system or a computer aided design package for Unix from IBM or other companies that support the Sun computers and other unix workstations.

    But I can't do with Linux the very basic things that a small personal computer user needs to do on a small computer user's personal computer - like small business accounting. The reason is that commercial software developers don't support Linux. Why? Maybe it is just a small installed base. Maybe it is that the Linux world hasn't settled on a few basic standards. If you can't install software written for one distribution on to another distribution, how would a commercial developer be motivated to make the investment in the operating system?

    My personal opinion is that Linux users would benefit from the availability of commercial software. It's nice to have freebies and there is no reason that they can't and shouldn't continue. But until commercial software developers embrace Linux, I don't see how it can ever get past the enthusiast level. And I don't see how commercial developers would embrace it until there is a single environment to embrace.

    Linux doesn't have to look like Windows but it has to compete against it and I think it needs to be the same for everyone. Perhaps I'll change my mind as I progress in my knowledge of Linux, and I will progress, but the present state seems to me to be keeping it an enthusiast operating system.

  2. #22
    Linux Guru Juan Pablo's Avatar
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    I hear you, Dan, but I don't agree. I've been fooling around with personal computers since I breadboarded my first 8080 in the 1970's. I've seen the introduction of CP/M, DOS, Windows and OS2 as well as a few "better" versions of operating systems for Intel chips. I'm a rusty but competent programmer and I spent 15 years of my life in the personal computer industry. So, while I am a rank beginner with Linux, I'm pretty knowledgeable around computers.
    You can be very knowledgeable with computers but Linux is total different OS and most things your have learned are not applicable here, if you don't try harder to learn Linux you will always be a newbie.
    Usually Windows power-users have a lot more problems moving to Linux than a person new to computers at all, Windows power-users tend to think that they know everything about any OS because they know how to use Windows perfectly and when Linux doesn't behave like Windows they take this as a Linux fault and not as a plain difference.

    My personal opinion is that Linux users would benefit from the availability of commercial software. It's nice to have freebies and there is no reason that they can't and shouldn't continue. But until commercial software developers embrace Linux, I don't see how it can ever get past the enthusiast level. And I don't see how commercial developers would embrace it until there is a single environment to embrace
    Commercial developers are not often well received by the Linux community unless this is the only alternative (e.g Flash Player), most Linux users like freedom a lot, we like the GPL and dislike commercials EULAs, most Linux users don't want to use commercial software (see Paragon NTFS, it was there before ntfs-3g but nobody used it or was recommended in forums coz it was commercial and we had partial support through Captive)
    Personally I don't care about the Linux market share, yes, it would be nice to see a 40% market share but that's all "it would be nice" not neccesary

    But it's your opinion and we all should respect it
    Put your hand in an oven for a minute and it will be like an hour, sit beside a beautiful woman for an hour and it will be like a minute, that is relativity. --Albert Einstein
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  3. #23
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmw
    I hear you, Dan, but I don't agree. I've been fooling around with personal computers since I breadboarded my first 8080 in the 1970's. I've seen the introduction of CP/M, DOS, Windows and OS2 as well as a few "better" versions of operating systems for Intel chips. I'm a rusty but competent programmer and I spent 15 years of my life in the personal computer industry. So, while I am a rank beginner with Linux, I'm pretty knowledgeable around computers.
    fmw, respectfully, time and again we see experienced Windows IT types and programmers who go on about how Linux is just too complicated and is not user friendly and they base their conclusions on the fact that their previous computer experience gives them enough knowledge to make that assessment. I believed the same thing once. As is mentioned in the linked article, comparing Windows and Linux is like comparing motorcycles and automobiles. The fact is, previous Windows/Dos experience will be of little benefit when learning Linux if one insists on demanding that Linux should just a different version of Windows. Franky, it is the fairly green computer user who brings no preconcieved notions about operating systems that has the easist time making the transition. You simply cannot judge Linux based on your previous Windows computer knowlege. It is a whole new discipline. Most everything else you mentioned in your previous post is addressed in the link I mentioned so I want repeat it here. I trust you have read it. Be open minded, stay with it, and you'll see what I'm saying is true. Good luck.
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  5. #24
    I'm not disagreeing with what either of you are saying. I'm arguing the value of making Linux a viable alternative to Windows for business users. The Linux community apparently doesn't want that so it will remain an enthusiast operating system. Obviously there are a lot of intelligent people involved in it. They just have a different goal than commercial developers or I do.

    I guess what I wanted out of it and what you all want out of it are two different things. For home use it appears to be outstanding. It is obviously more stable than Windows. For business use, though, it is not an alternative. I was hoping it might be. Now I know that I should learn it for the knowledge and not for the application to my own computing.

    I'm spending a couple of hours per day reading about it. I'll learn it despite my background. I've learned all the others. Thanks for the encouragement and feedback.

  6. #25
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmw
    I'm not disagreeing with what either of you are saying. I'm arguing the value of making Linux a viable alternative to Windows for business users. The Linux community apparently doesn't want that so it will remain an enthusiast operating system. Obviously there are a lot of intelligent people involved in it. They just have a different goal than commercial developers or I do.
    Hi fmw,

    I guess it might have been helpful to add that I own and am general manager of a commercial FM broadcast facility and also own a restaurant. We have successfully used Linux in both businesses (in the business office) for more than five years.
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  7. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper Dan
    Hi fmw,

    I guess it might have been helpful to add that I own and am general manager of a commercial FM broadcast facility and also own a restaurant. We have successfully used Linux in both businesses (in the business office) for more than five years.
    I'll be darned. What do you use for accounting software? Do you use Linux exclusively or do you have a Windows machine for some functions? The two basic applications I am wrestling with are accounting and Worldship, which is the UPS system for preparing package labels for shipment. I'm in the e-commerce business. I think everything else I do with computers could probably be moved to Linux but those two have me buffaloed.

  8. #27
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
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    The one application we use there is no Linux equivalent for is Quickbooks. My bookkeeper does not take to change very well so we had to stick with that over other Linux accounting applications that are available. We run Quickbooks via Win4Lin. I wish a Quckbooks clone for Linux could be developed. I think if that happened, or if Intuit finally came out with a Linux version of its software, you'd see a lot of small businesses transitioning over more quickly. This Fitrix looks interesting...
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  9. #28
    Thanks for the links. I'll study them. Apparently there are more things available that we newbies know about. Take care.

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