Ubuntu spurns Microsoft’s advances: http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=37742
I found the article above this morning linked from one of the news sites that I check when time allows. Some points were interesting but I think (and this is just my opinion) that this user is expecting Linux to be Windows. I’m just going to touch on the points that inspired me to comment. Oh and I may rant a little
[snip] Despite it being the latest ISO image I could find, the first thing the system did when it saw the Web was to download 104 updates – roughly 60 per cent more than a new install of Windows XP SP2 asks for.
OK, yes. There are a lot of updates to be applied after installing the latest version of Ubuntu (which has been out for several months). I personally haven’t counted the critical and recommended updates that are required after installing from a slipstreamed SP2 XP CD, so I can’t comment on his number. What I can comment on is time. XP has been in need of another service pack for months (years?). Performing an install takes (on my P4 HT 3.0Ghz) about 30 to 40 minutes and then another 30 to 40 minutes of updates. This includes all of the freaking reboots and download time. I didn’t see any mention of that in his post. To be fair, I don’t know how long it takes to go from nothing to a fully patched system with Ubuntu (on Feb 21, 2007). I’m willing to bet that if I sat down and did a comparison, Ubuntu would win the race easily.
Now that I think on it, you really can’t even compare the 2 systems when it comes to updating. MS Update is updating (for the most part, there’s always an exception) only the OS and a few other Microsoft applications. Your Linux distro is not only updating the OS, but ALL distribution provided packages. That includes EVERYTHING on your computer following an installation. Your office suite, system tools, games & so on.
[Mini Tangent] I want to mention that when there’s a security patch released for a component of my Linux distro (either Fedora or Ubuntu) I have that update almost immediately. There have been exceptions, I’ve waited up to 2 weeks for some Firefox/Thunderbird updates on both distros for example. Again, those are the exceptions. I’ve waited months for an update to Windows or other key components such as Office. During those months there were active exploits taking advantage of the holes in my system and I had to either be really, really, really careful or find a way to prevent exploitation myself. In the world of Windows, this is not really the exception. It’s VERY rare that MS releases an Out Of Cycle patch, leaving you (the paying customer) hanging for up to a month in many circumstances. [End Mini Tangent]
[snip] it’s on a desktop machine sharing a LAN with two XP and one Vista boxes. Vista and XP play happily together, doing all the file and printer sharing I need with absolutely no bother. The Ubuntu PC is a different matter entirely. I was advised, by friends who swear by Linux and at Microsoft, that I needed to install Samba, which I duly did. I am assured that Samba’s sole purpose in life is to enable Linux and Windows machines to co-exist and cooperate on the same LAN.
Ayup. Linux is not Windows and Samba goes along with that. Samba does take some configuration and it requires you to do some initial work. It doesn’t just do everything for you out of the box. It seems you didn’t get the whole story from your Linux friends.
Well, I’ve only been playing with computers since 1972 and I couldn’t make it work. Linux can see the Windows boxes and vice versa, but any attempt to access files is met with a login dialog box that refuses any username and password I enter. Now my learned friends tell me I should be using something called Wine. I’ve been a heavy user of wine for many years and it certainly helped relax me but did absolutely nothing for my connectivity dilemma.
I have no idea why you’d need Wine to use Samba, one has nothing to do with the other. The login prompt is because you haven’t created a Samba user and IIRC, Samba is set up for User level security by default on Ubuntu. A few minutes here would have done you wonders. It isn’t exactly intuitive to get Samba shares set up if you haven’t been exposed to Samba or read the docs. This is one place where Windows is easier (notice, I didn’t say better).
So I’ve done what any normal person would do in the circumstances – give up. If the awfully-clever people who write bits of open source code can’t make it work automatically, I stand absolutely no chance of fixing it. It looks very much to me as if people clever enough to write an entire operating system can’t make a simple bit of networking work, it has to be a deliberate marketing decision rather than a lack of ability.
I’m a normal person and I didn’t give up. I got bit by the Samba annoyance when I started with Linux too. Just wanted to say that I’m still using Linux AND I share files with Samba!
I don’t know if it was a marketing decision. I personally like to think of it as a sane security choice. I, like you, believe it to be deliberate. I guess I’m the only one who appreciates it.
What bugs me about this whole post is the following. He’s technically savvy enough to download an ISO, burn it and install an operating system that he hasn’t had much experience with, but he never seemed to consider that there would be a learning curve along with that OS. That just doesn’t make sense to me.
Here, I go off on a bit of a tangent, that word “automatically” irritates the hell out of me.
Automatically? Automatically is why you can drive down any street and get yourself free WiFi access. Automatically means I let the computer make all the choices for me. I won’t learn anything, I’ll just assume that a MACHINE can think for me and it’ll do the “right thing”. Automatically is for fools. READ something. Let’s say you automatically create some shares on your Windows box, umm, how about “My Documents”. Let’s say you also “automatically” set up your wifi router (SSID = linksys, and Security = 100% OFF). Guess what, that excel spreadsheet with all of your passwords in it… MINE. That and anything else I want to peek at from my car (or your neighbor’s family room). Automatically ISN’T good, it’s for people who refuse to LEARN anything. Automatically is dangerous.
Is there ANYONE out there that thinks the scenario above doesn’t happen ALL of the time? That’s what “automatically” gets you.
Personally, I’m sick to death of everyone thinking the computer should do everything for you. YOU have a responsibility to protect your computer (be it from others or yourself). If you don’t know how, get a book. If you don’t want to read, find a family geek or rent one from Best Buy. They aren’t hard to find.
err, end tangent.
No OS is perfect. If one was, we’d all be using it and the world would be a shiny happy electronic field of daisies. I just don’t think that he went into his Linux trial (for lack of a better word) with the right expectations. He wanted Linux to do what Windows does. Linux isn’t Windows (how many times am I going to say that?). If you’re going to use Linux, expect there to be a learning curve.
Thinking out loud: If all you’ve ever used is Linux, do you think just installing Windows and giving it a lame attempt would be easy? I don’t, you get used to what you know. All change is hard. You have to be willing to try.