Linux... why? | INFJ Forum

Linux... why?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Lerxst, Aug 5, 2011.

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  1. Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

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    This is a situation I've never understood. Why do people use Linux?

    Here are the two IT situations I've been in most:

    1 - Hardcore-data center environment. People here don't mess around that often, most of them are mainframe operators and others are Unix engineers. I was the grunt who had to crawl around running cables and fixing hardware and resetting servers. Unix I don't officially know, but I understand the purpose of - basically a super-secure ultra-geek "don't f*** with me" type of operating system that's been around since the dawn of mankind.

    2 - User-end tech work/troubleshooting. People on the other end of the PC who don't really know anything about computers and need a guiding hand. The most accessible OS for them to use and us to administer was always... let me restate that always Windows. Trying to explain a Linux command line over the phone or even in person was too much of a hassle. Trying to configure it on the server end when you have 4 or 5 rotating techs/admins using the machines was also a nightmare. The only solution is ever really Windows - a GUI people can see and commands they're at least usually familiar with since DOS and their home PCs.

    I never understood why people are fascinated by Linux. Yes, I know it improves on the weakness of both Windows and Unix, but it also sacrifices the strengths of each of them in return. It seems you get a "jack of all trades, master of none" effect when you use Linux. It seems geared towards the people who actually enjoy needless troubleshooting just for the sake of troubleshooting while always needing tweaking and updating.

    Case in point: 5 friends and I would play WoW back "in the day". 1 of us insisted on playing it using their Linux box. 1 of us was always trying to fix something on their computer while the rest of us were logged in and happily raiding away. Can you guess who that 1 person was?

    The only time I've seen Linux really be of any use is when I was given a ten year old paperweight that I needed to convert to a communal computer. It needed to be secure enough to not allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to alter it but visually easy enough to navigate and needed to support a network connection. Linux installed without a hitch... until people started calling for troubleshooting the simplest of tasks like checking e-mail or surfing the Web and I had to explain that it wasn't the programs they were used to on their home PC's.

    So even at its best, I still don't see why its gained the huge cult-like following it has... other than not being Microsoft!
     
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  2. Sloe Djinn

    Sloe Djinn Idiot with Internet Access.

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    Because penguins r neat.
     
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  3. Peppermint

    Peppermint Well-known member

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    and hipster
     
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  4. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    BECAUSE I CAN!

    no, seriously, because i can.

    and because i like the look and feel better, better format/layout/design, and im going to have to use it soon anyway.

    View attachment 7836
     
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  5. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    *Sonya notes another thread to memorize for when she can't sleep*
     
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  6. This

    Banned

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    Because people hate apple and when their windows machine brakes down they need something to point to as an alternative that isn't made by apple.
     
  7. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  8. Auron

    Banned

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    Because It is free. Oh, and Apple is a hipster fad.
     
  9. Detective Conan

    Detective Conan Doesn't Cast Shadows

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    Personal preference... elitism... being a hipster in denial... there are a lot of reasons people choose to use linux. Linux users are just tools through and through, though ;) that's right, I went there.

    Businesses use Linux builds on cash registers because their employees can't fuck up easily with them. Linux servers are free and are fairly easy to maintain. Linux has enough free software that have enough features to satisfy most consumers... I don't know many consumers that use all the features in the Office suite personally and can easily get by with open office... Building your own computer becomes even cheaper when using linux... It's a decent change of scene, too, if you don't really enjoy working in the same OS for years on end.

    I think a better question is why hate other OSes that you don't use? Seriously, it's not like Windows affects OSX or Linux, or any combination of the three... if you're curious as to what's on the other side, go ahead and try it for yourself. Windows isn't for everyone. OSX isn't for everyone. Linux isn't for everyone... I guess some people don't like that or can't deal with it. Oh well, I'll just sit back with my triple boot system and be happy with it :)
     
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  10. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    Apple isn't a hipster fad, it's far to mainstream, now having the old school apple desktops that have bright colored translucent backs to them, that's a hipster fad. Though I'm sure it's not something you'd know about.
     
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  11. Troisi

    Troisi Regular Poster

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    Free + minimal virus threats? Yes.
     
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  12. OP
    Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

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    So you're saying I can sum up in one word why people use Linux - cheapness.

    Open Office, though, works with Windows. I just bought a $300 laptop with a full version of Windows 7 installed and added Open Office to it. In my opinion, that's pretty damn cheap and I don't sacrifice any compatibility or have to spend months tweaking it.

    I'll admit though, the GUI looks more appealing that Mac or Windows :)
     
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  13. Deathjam

    Deathjam ooooh
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    methinks your doing it wrong
     
  14. bickelz

    bickelz BOINK

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    I'm sort of tempted to mess around with linux now but I only have like 75 gigs left on my hard drive.:m040:
     
  15. Detective Conan

    Detective Conan Doesn't Cast Shadows

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    Not really. The cost is a part as to why some people use Linux, but also keep in mind the other reasons I offered; not all of them depended on the cheapness of the OS.

    Cheapness also depends on your scope of reference. For example, with laptops and netbooks, Linux rarely has an impact on the price of the unit (however, my school did save about $150 per classroom netbook when they opted out for a specialty build of Ubuntu instead of Windows XP, so you can save money with those as well). For custom-built desktops or servers, deducting the cost of the OS will decrease the overall price of the machine (an OEM Windows 7 OS starts out at about $100, and that's not even a server client). Since Linux is free, a Linux desktop will be much cheaper than a Windows desktop if you build the computer yourself (yes, you can say "well, you're spending $700 on a desktop anyway, why not spend the extra $100 to get a mainstream OS?" and that's because it's still an extra $100). Also, a lot of Linux users would disagree about spending months on tweaking the system. It's not a difficult OS, especially with the rich community surrounding it that usually has members willing to help out. I wouldn't call the learning curve any steeper than the learning curves for OSX and Windows 7.

    You also have to consider the quality you get when buying a $300 laptop... there might be a reason it's so cheap ;) build quality, battery quality, bloat-ware, etc...

    I'd actually disagree with you on the GUI, but meh... personal preference :D
     
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  16. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    [MENTION=3545]bickelz[/MENTION]
    not a problem. I'm dual booting, and only set 75GB in my \ (Home) Directory. Also, burn the .iso to a disc and try using it live... see if you like it before you install it.
     
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  17. MaesDV7

    MaesDV7 Regular Poster

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    I enjoyed using Linux. It's generally very stable depending on which distro you use (I've heard slackware has best stability, though that may have changed since I was into linux?), and you don't need to worry about viruses.
     
  18. wmbab1

    wmbab1 Vote for Pedro

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    The most common reason for using linux on personal computers is... that it's fun. It's really that simple.

    And from there it spreads. Sometimes it gets shoved onto systems where there's better alternatives.

    Linux has lots of strengths. Most of the hardcore fans refuse to see it's weaknesses for what they are.
     
  19. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    The first computer I ever had was a 48K Spectrum, in 1982 I think. It was very basic, and more or less open so that you (if you had the skill and patience) could learn how to write computer programs in several languages, as well as play games, entertainment etc. I think when MS Windows came along with a closed (or fairly closed) operating system with GUI, it made computer usage easier, but in many ways took away from the people the desire or need for learning programming.

    To me that was a great shame, and that's what linux provides for people that apple didn't as an alternative. The chance to help build and write their own code to learn more about computers and personalise what they were doing. I never learnt how to be a computer programmer, but even today at work I see younger people (who I had thought would have long since passed me by with IT) struggle to do fairly simple things. Not because of any lack of intelligence or ability, only due to having grown up with a standardised PC that did a lot of the work for them.

    Despite the drawbacks of the old Spectrum I had, I learnt a little background to computers and a lot of patience for when they went wrong, which it frequently did. The open set up of the system invited you to 'have a go' and I think that's what linux has going for it.
     
  20. donkeybals

    donkeybals A Permanent Fixture

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    I'm not a linux master or anything. But my take on the whole cult following thing is because it's free and it's open source. Groups of people build on it to make it better, and it's not about the sales. It's about the people, damn it. :p Corporations often dictate what the user wants because of x. Linux dictates what the user wants because of nothing. The source code is free and you can use it however you like, with the exception of using the code and selling distributions of your new linux. Maybe give linux another chance? Please with a cherry? Your linux bashing. :( I mean it's another alternative, and many distributions now a days give an easy setup to dual boot along side windows. So you can have your cake and eat it too. I mean, linux isn't the superman of operating systems, hmm maybe it is according to the linux lovers you've been talking to, but it has a lot of positives, biggest being it's open source. :thumb:
     

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