OS Q&A

Saturn’s day. Also All Hallows Eve. Happily the weather is forecast to be abysmal so FD SCP and I can happily bunker down and not have to worry about the moral implications of dispersing body rot to immature humans.

Higher air temperatures than yesterday. Almost enjoyable in park. Since weather has turned I have returned to listening to podcast episodes on weekend to cut the discomfort. Today’s was an episode of Linux Luddites about a trial of Open SUSE. Not very positive so far.

I can recall purchasing an HP itty bitty lap box with Open SUSE installed. Recall I thought it horrible. Complained about it on a chat site and got bashed by a couple of corporate IT types about how SUSE was wonderful and I was full of mind stercus. Took me a few days to get over the bullying and by that time a Debian variant had been tweaked for the itty bitty and I blew Open SUSE away without a qualm about disintegrating my warranty. That act has since proven itself one of the better I have made in the computer world. 

But I don;t want to talk about Linux distros that are Winders wannabes. And their fan boys. I want to talk about what happens when you say “(Name of OS) sucks” on a discussion site. 

  • Q: Windows sucks. A: Yeah. But you can pay big bucks for this third party SW and it will suck less.
  • Q: iOS sucks.  A: Yeah, but that’s all there is so be happy.
  • Q: (Linux Distro) sucks  .  A: Yeah, so install a different one. The journey’s the thing, not the destination.
  • Q: Android sucks.  A: What’s Android?

I still have that itty bitty lap box and use it occasionally when I don’t mind nose grease on the screen.

Ten Flop?

Saturn’s day. Wind down from yesterday so the constitutional was a bit less pleasant. But netter than months save yesterday. 

Megahard has rolled out ultimate winders, aka WX. Seems it too is fairly badly broken. [Link] Seems amazing to me that Megahard can have all those people working on just one product and they still consistently come up with stercus? Of course even the good ones, for those of us old folk who can remember 2K and XP and NT, started out that way. So perhaps Megahard can pull theirr gonads out of the motorcar crusher?
And then there is the Linux community. They produce lots of products and most of they are not stercus. But the ones that are often come from the biggest producers. Like Canonical who gave us Unity in place of Gnome 2. This is an improvement already? Only in Shuttleworth’s ego, I suspect. 
Although I have to admit to using Unity. Several times. The longest was four days. And I was having nightmares during my disturbed slumber. And it never worked right. I don’t mean worked comfortably. It didn’t do that by design. Not right for my head. But even the tweaks didn’t work. And who wants buttons fixed on a particular side of the window? Only Canonical and Megahard, evidently. 
I shall evade the obvious derogatory illusion. 
I don’t know anyone who actually uses WX yet. And yes, I have colleagues (and the occasional friend,) who use Winders. But they have other socially redeeming qualities. And we all have our mental failures. Even ones this big.
So I can’t say much about WX. Other than the somewhat less than speculative assertion that I am glad not to have to use it.

OS Analogs

Thor’s day. End of gym week. Podcast was an episode of “Linux Luddites” Not very good. In fact, barely distracting. So I got to thinking.

When you buy an airliner you have to buy the seats separately.Seems Boeing/Airbus don’t want to be in the furniture business.

Now suppose you go to a motorcar dealer to purchase a motorcar. And they show you nice looking (exterior) motorcars and talk about (sorta) the mechanical performance but the interior is void. And when you ask about this they tell you that you can go to an associated store and purchase a steering wheel and gauges but you’re on your own for seats and such.

That MegaHard’s Winders Operating System.

operating     adj 1: involved in a kind of operation; “the operating conditions of the oxidation pond”;     2: being in effect or operation; “de facto apartheid is still operational even in the `new’ African nations”- Leslie Marmon

System n. [L. systema, Gr. ?, fr. ? to place together; ]   1. An assemblage of objects arranged in regular  subordination, or after some distinct method, usually logical or scientific; a complete whole of objects related by some common law, principle, or end; a complete      exhibition of essential principles or facts, arranged in a rational dependence or connection; a regular union of principles or parts forming tne entire thing; as, a system of philosophy; a system of government; a system of divinity; a system of botany or chemistry; a military     system; the solar system.

is like that. You buy it,and install it, and you can’t do very much with it. It may not have an email client. It has a rather sorry browser. It lacks an office suite but you can buy that from an associated store for an exorbitant price. And anything else you want is pretty much not there. You are on your own.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a pitch for LINUX. It’s a bash of Winders and MegaHard. I don’t care if you keep using Winders. I don’t care if you switch to LINUX. I do care about why I use LINUX and NOT Winders.

Winders doesn’t have loads of software in repositories to download and install and use. Their model is find a store that sells that type of software, pay for, install it (maybe,) and use it. Maybe. But whatever you want you don’t have much choice. And that choice will cost.

Ergo, Winders isn’t a complete OS. It’s an airliner analog. Not a motorcar analog.

Suffer Winders users.

Shattered Window

Mundane day. Not bad so far. Moderate weather if a bit high in air temperature for this time of year. Fear the Whirley Birley! Only a couple of weight bouncer bullies this morning and the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas”, was a ‘Radio is Dead’ thing along the lines of ‘Deity is Dead!’ Not particularly convincing or even memorable, in either case, but diverting from the ache and perspiration.

On which note, I see [Link] that MegaHard has announced that Winders X will be the last Winders. And, apparently, no, this is NOT the happy news that MegaHard has imploded and is going away. Rather they are plagiarizing – again! – from the FOSS community and re-normalizing Winders as a rolling release.

This is somewhere between amusing and horrifying. On the amusing end is that MegaHard has once more gone from its fascist pillorying of FOSS – read LINUX – to stealing their best ideas. The rolling release is a mixed bag. On the one hand it is notoriously fragile, mostly because most such distributions are more interested than cutting edge – which can, AND does , fail specularly, too often. This Makes rolling release NOT a good idea for neubs. My personal experience, with MANJARO, a derivative of ARCH, has been singularly positive – that is, non-negative in maths speak – in terms of the rolling release itself. I don’t like the SW client but it works and I can abide. 

On the other hand, the rolling release is a great thing for folks who live in the hinterland where broadband is more fairy tale than true crime. Having lots of smaller updates is preferable to a few BIG updates as evidenced by my repeated history of late of failed version upgrades. The number is now five when my upgrade from WHEEZY to JESSIE failed after download, in the middle of install, and left me with a sand box. That box is now running SolydK which may or may not still be a rolling release.

MegaHard, however, is a different can of worms from a Linux distro organization. The rolling release may seem to really give corporate IT shops hope of streamlining but if one considers all of MegaHard’s integration failures in the last few years they are probably going to find that too many of these bigger updates are going to break the corporate PC population necessitating a LOT of rollbacks and stoop labor. And those corporations – everyone? – are going to have to contend with developing a new replacement model for hardware. Back when the Winders version increment was the same (approximately) as obsolescence, replacing boxes was pretty simple in accountant-speak. Now it gets nasty when real need may have to be considered instead of a top down hand-me-down. 

This also seems to be yet another sign that MegaHard is abandoning the home and small business marketplaces. People who don’t have IT staff are going to view bigger updates and more likely dead boxes as increased reason to join the ranks of those who get an update/upgrade only when they buy a new box. Are they just abandoning their largest population market to Chrome? The World Wonders.

Think Chinese Curse. 

Linux and Stupidity

Back to week in. Air temperature not too low but the air motion is brutal. Not as bad as the coastal yankees are going to have to endure but that’s what they get for being yankees and living up Nawth.

The gym was passable and the podcast moderately diverting if a bit too correct and indecisive. At least the weight bouncers were a bit subdued this morning and not quite menacing. So I had a bit of opportunity for reflection, which was interrupted by a statement by the state attorney general, which prompted the previous blot. Sometimes I think the state would be better off if still occupied by the Yankee Army. Of course, that wouldn’t eliminate the religionist nonsense and bigotry and harassment.

On which azimuth, I ran across two articles of interest yesterday. The first, [Link] argues that Winders X is the death knell of the Linux desktop, and the second, [Link] identifies the "ideal" Linux user. Both are annoying and laughable but thought provoking.

The argument for Winders X is that MegaHard is giving it away. And it’s supposed to be an all device OS. Gee, wonder where they got that idea? Sounds like blatant imitation of Canonical. And, of by the way, how popular is Canonical? Way down the last couple of years, just like MegaHard.

Let me break at this juncture to make a statement. I have ceased to care about the "year of the Linux desktop". Not that I ever cared much. But I have come to the realization that Linux is a lot better than Winders and FruitOS and part of that is because of the current community. I will not forbid any users of other OS from changing to Linux but I am not going to evangelize them either. Call it intellectual elitism if you want but I like a community of technically competent folks. I think of it as a form of Bose condensation.

If someone asks me about Linux I will be happy to answer questions, and if they want to try it I will help them get started but I ain’t gonna be a Winders level IT support guy. If you can’t do for yourself – most of the time – then I don’t want to waste lifespan on you. Others can be evangelists if they like but for me the Linux desktop is here and good and better than Winders or FruitOS and those who can’t recognize this are not worth the trouble. You can’t make an Alpha out of a Gamma.

That’s why I am not worried about MegaHard giving away WX. It’s only for a year. And they are clearly trying to kill off WXP and W8 so they don’t have to support them any more and can close down their litigation fears. I doubt that many of the folks who download a free copy will install anyway.

Because they can’t. They’re the folks who need IT support. They don’t install OS. They buy computers with the OS already installed. New OS version?, New computer. Partly because they are technically incapable of installing and partly because their hardware won’t work right with the new version. And MegaHard engineered both of those situations.

So anyone who abandons Linux for WX is welcome to leave the building. We probably didn’t want you anyway and assuredly will be better off without.

The second article is just as bad. It says,

"The average user is ideal for Linux, because this user:

Doesn’t want to upgrade to the latest-greatest

Doesn’t game

Spends the majority of their time within a browser

Is prone to installing toolbars, screensavers, and apps to "speed up their PCs"

Complains every time they have to "spend money to remove junk"

which is, that the ideal Linux user is a Bog.

If anything, Linux is a lot safer to leave unupdated than Winders or FruitOS. And if Bogs want to install Linux, fine. Go ahead. Don’t ask me to do it. I only do things like that for my mother.

You may have noticed, but there is no community of Winders users. No little groups that meet. There may be for FruitOS, but I know there are for Linux OS. And the standards are pretty high. No bogs present for long, like maybe one meeting. No sympathy if you can’t do command line.

So if browser bogs and other Winders serfs want to migrate to Linux there’s plenty of how-to information on the web and in the book stores. Go and learn and do. Or not. As you choose. But my ‘tear of the Linux desktop’ was several years ago.

Hamlet Question

The dihydrogen oxide has ceased to fall in bothersome quantity. I understand, from the weather beavers, that more is coming and flooding in the lowlands – not here on top of Brindlee – is foretold. But by the time I roused myself from bed – the second time, the first an hour earlier at the modal hour to micturate – and gotten the morning routine of cleaning and clothing done, I could venture the park for a constitutional and only wet the soles of my shoes.

My headlamp, a nasty thing because of all the straps, was almost unnecessary by the time I concluded and, back aching, I returned to Castellum SCP. Here now to consider yet another article [Link] on replacing WXP with some flavor of Linux. I had read one [Link] in Infoworld that was strangely strained and indecisive until I figured out it was a grudging cave to MegaHard. And hence to be ignored as propaganda.

The former article is a bit confusing in terms of who the audience is: user or IT guy. It seems to satisfy neither. The unsentient IT guy these days is still pro-winders. If his organization adopts Linux then he has a lot of thankless and repetitive stuff to do in the near term, including actually having to talk to users, and the prospect of looking for a new job in the far term. Alternately, the content is also antithetical to the user base since the average MegaHard serf is almost genetically disinclined to become a Linux user, to say nothing of the IT guy not wanting that transition either. Despite the prevarications and worst efforts of Cannonical, one cannot be a Linux user as ignorant and slime moldish as a Winders user. That’s the fundamental reason why I wait for someone to demonstrate sincere willingness to change before helping them make the leap.

As the Yankees discovered after THE war, some slaves cannot be freed. And it may be criminal to free others, those too old to care for themselves, e.g. That doesn’t justify slavery but it does recognize irreversible dynamics. Not all Winders users can change, and we should not force them to; MegaHard is already doing that and the crime can sit upon their heads. The question should not be posed on whether WXP users shoudl switch to Linux, but if WXP users have decided to switch, what should they switch to? That question is less ethically compromised.

Not that we can expect journalists nor corporationists to have any concern for ethics.

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Adventure in the Journey

Well, I survived another expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Other than having to put my motorcar in hospital for a bit of bashing and and smashing, the trip was only onerous and tiring. Even the density of kamikaze drivers was low.

So I had occasion this morning to enjoy a new podcast, an episode of “The Linux Luddites” that is neither eroded by excessive (and obnoxious) commericals nor absent of technical content. And the readers are both pingers of overstuffed Canonical and Saint Mark, with a tasteful British accent and phraseology, so the general environment is conducive and congenial. They made mention of an intriguing claim, that corporate organizations are switching from WXP to Chrome to avoid the recurring MegaHard taxation.

While this rationale makes eminent sense, I am not sure about the choice of Chrome. Unless one’s client (app) base, for the entire organization, is web based, this is a recipe for a Death-by-a-thousand-cuts. More intriguingly, the media has been totally silent on this, at least from my POV. All I see is journalists bemoaning the abandonment of MegaHard for Linux. This has evolved from outright horror and revulsion to nauseous (and grudging) acceptance. Just this morning I ran across an article [Link] that dictated a list of to-dos after one had converted. As with most such lists it is flawed; as with most such journalist lists it is deeply flawed to the point of error.

It amuses me that most journalists use some form of specialized software in their writing but they somehow totally ignore, or are oblivious, that anyone else may have to use some specialized software. Only the slimiest mold of bogs are not in this situation, and nerds are most deeply mired in it. I for one am quite pleased that WXP has reached EOL since now I can disconnect my WXP boxes from the network and actually get more work done. I may even at some point put XP on one of my Linux boxes in a virtual engine. (Quantum foam in place of steam?)

The point remains, as I now realize, that when VISTER and W7 came out, WXP was left behind and all those accustomed WXP clients didn;t work right or at all. So for those of us with a tool orientation, then was a good time to sever our relationship with MegaHard.

I also ran across a cartoon: [Link]

and realized this can be seen as a metaphor for switching from MegaHard to Linux. It is a grand destination with some adventure in the journey.

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