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Questions about Linux for new and less-experienced users

From: icedwater
Sent on: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 11:56 AM
Hello Cheng Lim,

thanks for all the replies :) It's 4.45 am here but it's fun to
respond to this thread. So here goes:

>> I would like to use the "product page" to explain this:
>
> NVIDIA: http://www.nvidia...­
> ATI: http://www.amd.co...­
>
> Nvidia is more mature because they actually have more product. And the
> chances is their driver could be better.

Thanks for backing up your viewpoint, at least it clarified what you
were thinking. However, I am inclined to agree with Harish that more
does not necessarily equal better.

>> Linux user can be divided into groups for example advance/power users vs
>> normal users. IRC itself is writen by a Lawyer, we are sure that compile a
>> driver using gcc can be done by anyone. With error, people can search
>> google? Yes. We don't need a bachelor degree to compile a driver? Yes,
>> because i did it in my diploma time.

Agreed. No paper academic qualifications are needed to do any sort of
work with Linux - just patience, persistence and the ability to read,
just as with any other operating system. I'm not sure about IRC being
written by a lawyer, though, I'm more inclined to believe this
http://daniel.hax...­ ?

Also, let's not make the common mistake of combining paper
qualifications with intelligence. There are several counterexamples
that people who have one may not have the other. ... interesting line
from someone who plans to study past Ph.D. :P

> That's also an argument that compiling source code could be dangerous. I am
> 100% sure that not all of us will read the source code and understand what
> it is before the "make install", return. Closed source program has this
> problem too. But anyway who care.

I don't read all the source code either before I ./configure and make
install - it's simply too time consuming. I have to say, though, that
if I wanted to, I could at least try to understand whatever error
messages pop up and try to resolve them. This again is from personal
experience more than any sort of academic background.

>> I bet you never do end user support for Linux. They actually mean "all the
>> web site they might be using". And simplicity is better for beginner.

I do try to promote Linux, especially to the beginners, and yes -
simplicity is better, but I start off with as much detail as I think
is necessary because I don't want to patronise the end users. I assume
they are intelligent enough, and I clarify or simplify if they start
to look lost.

> I am not complaining about Singapore government web, I am just saying that
> some of them using MS Sharepoint that's why so many build in script is IE
> favor. Total cost of ownership (TCO) is cheaper because you don't have hired
> a hard core Linux administrator to maintain it (Short term). By doing this
> in middle term might be a risk for your system because you don't pay to the
> right people. Opps, too much personal opinion. Anyway I believe all
> administrators are good guy =) Cheers.

Heh, well, there's always room for personal opinion :) I think the IE
bias came way before Sharepoint, no? I've never worked professionally
on this, but I always thought that the mentality was 'if it works for
most it will be fine for the rest' ... which I have not agreed with
almost as long as I can remember having an opinion about it.

> engineering on desktop usage. Linux advantage is they have more powerful
> developers willing to contribute the source code to make this world a better
> place. Surprisingly 2 main websites using this kind of concept grows super
> well. Who are they? Youtube and Facebook.

I don't think that's a very old-school topic... fundamental, yes, but
probably not so much old-school. User-contributed content is the way
to go, I agree :)

> Personally I think Linux is the way to go in next few years time. It is now
> about there already, given time for more and more end user get use to the
> system, the whole world will change to an open source one. Look at the
> iPhone and the look at the green and we can predict the future. But don't
> ask me for the Toto number.

The more people realise that people-power applies to content and
software, the more open source it will be.

> Further more is this an apple to apple comparison? The bottle neck might
> likely occur at disk device or RAM device most of the time. I knew some
> people using this trick to generate the "better" benchmark. But we live in a
> ideal world this doesn't happen.

Agreed. What matters is "real" usage and not relying too closely on
benchmarks because benchmarks can be manipulated, I guess, and this
probably has some frightening similarity to what's going on in
Singapore society ... but I digress :P

Many user reviews online nowadays also include certain "real" tasks in
the benchmarking process, and benchmarking should really only be used
as a guideline, not a religious reference.

> Again many people also abuse the name of Linux. What distro you are talking
> about means a lot too. An ideal lab test environment will be DIFFERENT from
> what you have at your home. Do you do OS tuning at home? Most of us might
> likely "install all". It work for you doesn't mean for me, please.

Correct. Even for Windows users, it is not the case that everyone has
the same setup.

> And finally back to the point. We are discussing the driver portability. If
> you use it to surf web, yes it work fine. But what if i want to extend to a
> funny non standard software and funny non standard hardware? You might end
> up write you own driver to control the device. Opps if you are no good in
> low level C programming. I will say a 5 years learning curve might help. 5
> years too long? Buy a better support card.

Yeah, everyone wants a better piece of hardware but most people will
not bother to learn to code their own drivers. This also makes sense -
let those who know how do it. Or do what you know and leave the rest
alone. Just buy a better-supported product. But how portable are
closed-source hardware drivers? Open-source hardware drivers can be
modified more extensively without (sometimes illegal)
reverse-engineering.­

Also, since when was this the topic? The topic of this thread was
Linux Meetup: LUGS AGM. :P

Apologies to the people who fixed the subject earlier, it's just
become too convenient to respond to this one. Incidentally, it would
be nice if the subject line was altered to fit the content in the
first place in future, I think that's good e-mail etiquette. I'll try
to fix the subject again, here goes.

Rambling again. Sleep is usually a cure for that, isn't it? ;)

Cheers,
KH

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