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neubejiita

Ubuntu vs Windows 7.

Which OS would you run.  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. Which OS would you run.

    • MAC OS Snow Leopard.
      1
    • Windows 7
      27
    • Ubuntu Jaunty
      10
    • Free Dos.
      5


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Why in this day and age is it so hard to get simple things like gstreamer sound and xvid playback and nvidia drivers to work in GNU/Linux distributions like Fedora Core 10 and Ubuntu 9.0.4 when you can install Windows 7 and get those things right away? And some magazines are p1mping Ubuntu as better than Windows XP & Vista when both of those OS's are easier to setup and use and you do not have to search the Internet forums and paste countless command lines into the terminal to get things working.

I am currently running PC Linux OS 2009, and I am building my own custom version with Xmms & Mplayer/Kaffeine for media playback and this came with the Nvidia drivers and a fast and stable KDE 3.5 desktop.

My point is, when we are supposed to be using free alternatives at least make them work better than beta versions. Windows 7 is eval and it works perfectly for me running Zdoom and Prboom-plus fine.

Sorry for the long post, I had to get it off my chest.

Your thoughts?

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I run Windows 7. I don't care if there's anything better as it works perfectly fine for me.

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I can see how Ubuntu 9.0.4 could be a modern alternative to, say, WinXP. The thing that attracts XP to the masses is the UI that can be controlled by the mouse exclusively for the entire life of your computer. Ubuntu is slowly approaching that.

I put Ubuntu on my sister's EeePC and she seems to be handling it well. So yeah, it works fine with the "just show me where Solitaire and the internet is" crowd.

Why in this day and age is it so hard to get simple things like gstreamer sound and xvid playback and nvidia drivers to work

Don't forget wireless.

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Bucket said:

Don't forget wireless.

YES. That is the one thing preventing me fron 'nix-ifying my laptop, is ndiswrapper's practically nonexistent support for my wireless network card.

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neubejiita said:

My point is, when we are supposed to be using free alternatives at least make them work better than beta versions.

What did you do to make them better?

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My experience with Linux hardware compatibility can be summarized as follows: graphics, sound, network -- pick two.

The Ubuntu developers seem to have realized (for the first time in Linux development history) that it actually might be a good idea to make things just work, automatically, without the need for the user to wade through heaps of manual configurations. Ubuntu has improved a lot in this department, but still has some way to go to be close to Windows.

Take such a simple thing as MIDI. It's always worked out of the box (or after installing soundcard drivers) for me in Windows. I've never gotten it to work properly on a Linux system (despite trying various guides). On my most recent computer, I thought I had it working, but all sound randomly stopped working three days later and only started working again when I disabled MIDI.

Regardless of its flaws, I use Ubuntu on my workstation and generally like it. It's far superior to any Windows system as a programming environment. apt-get is the best thing ever (if only hardware configuration was as easy). Day-to-day, what I mostly don't like is that the GUI is less responsive and efficient than Windows, and lacks conveniences such as drag-and-drop to create shortcuts, a simple way to change file type icons, etc. It's painfully obvious that the system is fundamentally text-based and that the GUI is an afterthought. At present, Windows lets you do anything via a GUI and some things via text; Linux lets you do anything via text and some things via a GUI. Both approaches are unsatisfactory.

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Regarding the poll: None of the above, although if I were forced to pick any one of them and no other alternative, Ubuntu, despite its flaws, is superior to the other three by far.

Personally I run Arch Linux on my main desktop (Debian 5 on my server) and I love it, although I will admit that Arch is not designed for people hoping for an OS where installation is a few simple prompts; Debian and Ubuntu are designed for that. Hell, it wasn't even until a couple days ago that I found out I should install a couple daemons so that my hard disk can idle or that my CPU can underclock itself automatically (on a laptop, see); even for me there's things to learn with Arch, since it's a much more manual distribution, one where I do have to add in special tools for laptops while Debian did it all automagically. :P

In response to Fredrik: Sound has been a non-issue on Linux for years; at least if you're not running Ubuntu (they do tend to install experimental software/patches by default on everyone's desktop, and the forums demonstrate that...). This is especially true after Creative has released all documentation and source code regarding their sound cards, which was the last real hurdle for sound (and it was really only the fault of Creative).

Wireless and graphics still admittedly have issues, but both of these are also caused by greedy vendors. On terms of wireless, Linux pretty much supports everything with the exception of Broadcom chips, and even that is being rectified by reverse engineering efforts; granted it doesn't sound as appealing as official documentation or official free drivers, work is underway to remove this last remaining troublesome chipset anyway.

On terms of graphics, NVIDIA is the only one holding it up, also refusing to release documentation or free drivers (hell, they just went through a period where they skipped two kernel releases; that's right, if you were updating your kernel to 2.6.28 and .29, for a long time you wouldn't get any graphics acceleration whatsoever with NVIDIA). Much like the Broadcom situation, there is an effort to reverse engineer NVIDIA chips and remove the NVIDIA issue without their help; I don't have any NVIDIA cards in my house that aren't burnt-out (hey, talk about quality!) so I've no idea how well nouveau works. Historically, ATI was also an issue, although they have released full documentation and driver source code, they don't bother updating the proprietary driver so much anymore, although it's a non-issue when other people outside of ATI (or even ATI itself contributing) can improve the driver and make sure they work on the latest kernel/Xorg.

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Due to my laptop suffering some hardware issues lately, and my boss wanting me to "learn Mac" (something I already know), I've been forced to use Snow Leopard on a work-assigned laptop for the past couple of days. I'd probably not recommend it to anyone and I'm looking forward to wiping it off this MacBook Pro later today.

Personally, I run Slackware on all my machines, though I occasionally play with Ubuntu here and there as well. I know it's probably at least partially luck, but I haven't had any issues with hardware not working with Linux for me. Slackware worked out of the box with my Eee PC, wireless included. I guess at most is that my normal laptop has a bug where you can't turn off the speakers when you insert headphones, but I found a work-around for this.

As for which OS I'd recommend to someone, I'd probably ask what they want to use it for. My top recommendation would be to try Ubuntu and see if it works (as far as usability goes) for them. After that, probably XP or (based solely on what I've heard about it) Windows 7. If they're super geeky and want a challenge, I'd hand them a Slackware 13 cd and say "IM me".

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I would run none of those operating systems. I'm perfectly content with XP here.

I've also ran vista a lot but very rarely ever used any of the little enhancements it had (because I broke vista habits without trying when I went back to XP). The machine is TONS faster now

Windows 7... I've tried one of the prereleases -- it just really fails to intrest me at all...

I run Linux in a virtual machine. It fits the small amount of linux stuff I need to do

Snow leopard -- next year I'm probably going to be forced to use that at school. I never could stand Mac OS though and I have no reason to attempt to run it. Besides these versions are just getting worse as the number increses

lol freedos. I do have a 386 in my room running Dos 6.2, but any variant of dos is pratically useless for a modern day computer.

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Despite all the progresses, Linux is still tied to a distribution model for its software that's well beyond the skills of the average user.

And before someone pimps the virtues of apt-get...

in Windows you don't ever have to compile stuff yourself (or even with the help of automated tools), you know where the stuff you install ends up (with the exception of drivers and badly written, old software), and you normally don't even have to ever open the command line.

You can do almost everything just by clicking, and the next windows machine or your neighbors will be just like yours, for the most part. Unified look and feel, unified distribution model for software, precompiled, error-proof binaries, backwards and forward compatibility, and widespread support are what made Windows what they are today.

UNIX derivatives with an X-windows manager were available even before Linux for IBM PC compatibles, but they didn't catch on as desktop OSes "for the masses" because UNIX was not an OS for the average user: it was much harder to use compared to DOS or Windows and pretty much only a trained pro could ever hope (or bother) to install and maintain an UNIX system. Imagine trying to install and configure a SCSI driver on one of those systems...

This has repercussions and consequences even on the way modern Linux distros work. Linux's way of doing things is still too similar to those older unices; binaries distribution is still not the norm (and I don't know if it's even technically possible), driver installation is not just like running a program with a click etc.

The bottom line for me is: if you actually need to use Linux (programming in its environment, server stuff, etc.) by all means, go ahead. If you want to use it as an alternate desktop OS (as I did), go ahead. Just keep in mind that in the long run it just can't beat Windows at their own game: replacing them as a desktop-oriented, single-user, multitasking OS suitable for everything and requiring minimal technical specializations (a windows tech needs not know how to compile a single thing, for instance).

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Two random Linux thoughts:
Who ever thought that not having file extensions as a standard practice for any kinds of files was a good idea? I like my .exes and .coms!

There are way too many "I'll toss this thing out for you to use...it does work, at least for me, but I can't be bothered to tell how to use it or what dependencies it has or..."-people in the Linux crowd. I guess this kind of people have been slowly dying down, but even this summer I had to use a few Linux programs with dismal support for my thesis.

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Maes said:

And before someone pimps the virtues of apt-get...



Speaking of 'pimping', what puzzles me most about Linux is that the features that get pimped most are those which makes it all the clearer for me that I'll probably never use it.

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Partition36 said:

I've been forced to use Snow Leopard on a work-assigned laptop for the past couple of days. I'd probably not recommend it to anyone and I'm looking forward to wiping it off this MacBook Pro later today.

AMEN.
Snow Leopard is truly a fail of epic proportions.

boris said:

What did you do to make them better?

If you can't help, you can't bitch. CLASSIC.

Fredrik said:

Take such a simple thing as MIDI. It's always worked out of the box (or after installing soundcard drivers) for me in Windows. I've never gotten it to work properly on a Linux system (despite trying various guides). On my most recent computer, I thought I had it working, but all sound randomly stopped working three days later and only started working again when I disabled MIDI.

THIS. I cannot believe how shitty MIDI support is with the Linux Distributions I've tried. On the other hand, AMIGA Modules play without a hitch in Nautilus just by mousing over them.

MikeRS said:

In response to Fredrik: Sound has been a non-issue on Linux for years; at least if you're not running Ubuntu (they do tend to install experimental software/patches by default on everyone's desktop, and the forums demonstrate that...). This is especially true after Creative has released all documentation and source code regarding their sound cards, which was the last real hurdle for sound (and it was really only the fault of Creative).

Yet MIDI is still a pain in the ass. I love how The only way to get modern M-Audio Midi Keyboards to work in Linux is to download a program to fuck with the Firmware in the Keyboard itself. If you think I'd run that shit, you're insane. On Windows and Mac OS X these Midi Controllers are operational in a matter of seconds.

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I... I... don't... under... stand.

This is a thread on the Internet. It's about Linux versus Windows and yet I can see a number of posts saying that Windows has certain features that are better than Linux and that Linux has some faults.

Come on guys. Don't you know how this stuff works? ;)

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Maes said:

UNIX derivatives with an X-windows manager were available even before Linux for IBM PC compatibles, but they didn't catch on as desktop OSes "for the masses" because UNIX was not an OS for the average user: it was much harder to use compared to DOS or Windows and pretty much only a trained pro could ever hope (or bother) to install and maintain an UNIX system.

Unix and the X-Window system have never been designed initially with desktop computers in mind. They're based on the "mainframe + dumb terminals" model. That's why you have eight TTY ("teletype"...) on Linux. X-Window is slow and cumbersome for the same reason. Your computer is behaving as a server and as leveral terminals at the same time, and use net protocols to talk to itself.

Nobody ever had a mainframe and a network of dumb terminals as his home computer, the environment for Unix was purely paid professionals.

DOS on the other hand was meant for a desktop computer: a single, autonomous but not very powerful machine. The PC was meant as a personal computer (that's even its name), something you use at home. So a mono-user, mono-tasking OS. Early versions of Windows were likewise not really multi-tasking, as they were after all just a complicated program run by DOS.

So with Linux, Unix went from the network to the PC; while Windows, after merging with WinNT, went the other way around, acquiring multi-user and networking capacities.

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Just out of interest, what are the faults with Snow Leopard? Although I will never run it for serious purposes, (school barely counts -- besides they might be lazy upgrading) I just kinda want to know.

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Maes said:

You can do almost everything just by clicking, and the next windows machine or your neighbors will be just like yours, for the most part. Unified look and feel, unified distribution model for software, precompiled, error-proof binaries, backwards and forward compatibility, and widespread support are what made Windows what they are today.

Yep, just gotta love that consistent look and feel.

Or that nice list of things to do if you want something for Windows; namely, firing up a browser, searching google for the type of program you want, finding something that's not malware (good luck!), downloading an archive of it, hope that it's in ZIP format so you don't need to download an archiver to install the first piece of software, uncompress it, run the random EXE file contained within (again, hope it's not malware!), click Next about a hundred times to make sure that you really want to install it, reboot the machine, and within hours you can start using that calendar app you needed!

Oh yes, we all love error-free... wait a minute, I just had to reboot my machine because some program said "Missing mxyzptlk.dll" and I had to install that dependency. What was I saying again?

Backwards and forwards compatibility? Vista. 'nuff said.

Widespread support? Does this mean having to be on hold on the phone for hours or the fact that everyone must suffer the same issues everywhere? Can't tell.

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MikeRS said:

In response to Fredrik: Sound has been a non-issue on Linux for years; at least if you're not running Ubuntu (they do tend to install experimental software/patches by default on everyone's desktop, and the forums demonstrate that...). This is especially true after Creative has released all documentation and source code regarding their sound cards, which was the last real hurdle for sound (and it was really only the fault of Creative).

Yeah, it mostly works nowadays... except for MIDI. Which as far as I'm concerned is a pretty big issue.

I've also had occasional problems with choppy sound (for example in Wine and VirtualBox). I'm usually able to fix it through fiddling, although to be a "non-issue" I'd prefer having to do no fiddling at all.

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The amount of misinformation and (probably unintentional) trolling in this thread is phenomenal. I could spend a day writing a megapost refuting and correcting but this is the whole issue with Windows and me: I just don't care anymore.

Linux does my stuff, and does it well. It also does many of the things above which people claim it doesn't or is broken. No, it's not perfect, but currently I find all other alternatives less perfect.

I accept this may change over time, and I hope it does, as that would make using the computer better for everyone.

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I've run OpenBSD on my laptop since 2005. I've never had to install a driver for any of its built-in hardware or the external devices I've used with it. The only piece of software I had to compile myself was chocolate-doom; everything else is pre-built as a package and dependencies are handled automatically.

Clearly all other operating systems suck, and so does anyone who says otherwise!

(I was actually quite surprised to find my M-Audio Delta 1010LT worked in Linux out of the box -- even the MIDI port. The problem with their USB MIDI devices is that they don't come with any firmware at all; the OS first has to load it before it becomes useful.)

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I used to use Linux, and it was alright(and quite good for coding) but some things really got to me. Mostly driver issues. I was getting tired of having to jump through hoops to get basic stuff working, so I switched back to Windows and have been perfectly happy. Not saying that Linux isn't right for some people - it definitely has some advantages, but I don't see it being ready for the desktop anytime soon. Also who the hell thought a case-sensitive filesystem was a good idea? That was annoying :P

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Maes said:

Despite all the progresses, Linux is still tied to a distribution model for its software that's well beyond the skills of the average user.

And before someone pimps the virtues of apt-get...

in Windows you don't ever have to compile stuff yourself (or even with the help of automated tools), you know where the stuff you install ends up (with the exception of drivers and badly written, old software), and you normally don't even have to ever open the command line.

I agree to a large extent. The Linux approach works well, and has its advantages, but it's ironically much more opaque and monolithic than the Windows approach (as long as you don't need the source).

But yeah, I'm an above-average user. I frequently *do* need to compile stuff myself. I also sometimes need libraries that depend on other libraries, and apt-get is bliss. Compiling stuff myself is usually easy on Linux and a pain in the ass on Windows, for a number of reasons.

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Holy crap dude, that's just trying too hard.

MikeRS said:

grotesque nice list of things to do if you want something for Windows.


Come on man, that's just a grotesque exaggeration of what might happen to a complete newbie that buys into every scam imaginable. I've googled for all sorts of weird stuff like OPL emulator plugins or electronic filter design packages, and within the first page of the results I had, well, actual (good) downloads or the very least names of software to look for for that task.

You're praising the availability of a central distribution system without factoring in that you need to know what software you're looking for. The very least how it's called, unless 1337 linux users have a thing for guessing package names or something.

The only real difference is that with Windows there's no concept of centralized repository. In the Windows world it's not common practice that someone bothers tracking all available software, indexes it and places it in a central repository, unless you count shareware/freeware sites like Simtel, Tucows or Softpedia as such.

That's also true of pretty much any non-Linux OS: you'll just have to download the .exe, .msi or .zip (or their equivalents) from a random website (and here things can get ugly, if the source is malicious) and run the installer or extract the stuff and run it. The advantage is that you have an immediately usable binary, which is what most people want, since the OS allows for that. The disadvantage is that you're on your own hunting for software.

On Linux for some reason source code and local building is the norm (users are expected to build their own programs and this is accepted as perfectly normal) or at best, distro-specific packages. This is largely a necessity to assure that you get working binaries, for your setup at least. The apt-get functionality may sugar-coat the process, but it remains obscure and orders of magnitude "harder" than just clicking on an installer.

The tools available may vary a lot between distros: some have nice graphical installers and a search tools, others have just apt-get, some work with rpm, some with deb, some with neither. BTW, is there still anyone claiming binary compatibility between distros and different kernels?

Runtime dependencies can be a problem, and the way of handling them varies, too. Linux, ironically, just delegates their resolution to compile time, so in case there actually are weird or complex dependencies, it downloads and solves them...provided the software in question is in the repositories. If you try to solve them manually because you downloaded the source and the dependencies separately from a website, it's really no better than Windows.

I'm personally puzzled by some distros' total reliance on the repository: it must suck hard having to install things by hand or prepare application-specific disks, without internet access, while it's a piece of cake on Windows.

MikeRS said:

Backwards and forwards compatibility? Vista. 'nuff said.


OK, they kinda managed to fuck that one up with Vista but Windows has easily the largest backwards compatibility of any OS in active use today. I can run 16-bit Windows 1.0 apps on my 32-bit XP SP3, no other OS can do it, and Vista generally runs Win32 stuff just fine, with few exceptions, depending on how tied an app is to the olden ways or how it conflicts with Vista's restrictions.

Linux on the other hand doesn't even have guaranteed binary compatibility between different distros and subsequent kernel updates, what are you talking about? Ah right...you recompile. How's that for 'nuff said?

MikeRS said:

Widespread support? Does this mean having to be on hold on the phone for hours or the fact that everyone must suffer the same issues everywhere? Can't tell.


Dunno about $$$ support, but it takes very little to find a person who's at least savvy enough to fix minor problems with Windows, given that's it's so widespread. Compared to Linux, it's a no brainer really. And yeah, since the issues are the same for everyone, this dumbs it down even more. On the other hand, every distro and kernel is like a totally different OS, so everyone will get his very own personal issues. Is that better?

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Maes said:

Holy crap dude, that's just trying too hard.

Bored, and combating your mindless FUD was easier than shooting fish in a barrel. (Actually I debated whether to even respond, couldn't make heads or tails on whether you seriously believed what you wrote)

You're praising the availability of a central distribution system without factoring in that you need to know what software you're looking for. The very least how it's called, unless 1337 linux users have a thing for guessing package names or something.

Wrong. I suppose you've never heard of a keyword search?

That's also true of pretty much any non-Linux OS: you'll just have to download the .exe, .msi or .zip (or their equivalents) from a random website (and here things can get ugly, if the source is malicious) and run the installer or extract the stuff and run it. The advantage is that you have an immediately usable binary, which is what most people want, since the OS allows for that. The disadvantage is that you're on your own hunting for software.

Only if the "any non-Linux OS" includes Windows. Plenty of other operating systems, including Mac OS X, have software repositories much like Linux distributions.

On Linux for some reason source code and local building is the norm (users are expected to build their own programs and this is accepted as perfectly normal) or at best, distro-specific packages. This is largely a necessity to assure that you get working binaries, for your setup at least. The apt-get functionality may sugar-coat the process, but it remains obscure and orders of magnitude "harder" than just clicking on an installer.

More blatent wrongness. Compiling software is not the norm unless you are counting only Gentoo and Slackware. And frankly, claiming that selecting applications from "Applications -> Add/Remove Programs" to install them is harder than a wild goose hunt that is Windows' norm for finding software is ridiculous.

The tools available may vary a lot between distros: some have nice graphical installers and a search tools, others have just apt-get, some work with rpm, some with deb, some with neither. BTW, is there still anyone claiming binary compatibility between distros and different kernels?

I don't even know why I bother... of course there's binary compatibility between distros and kernels. As for pointing out that different distros use different tools: whoop-de-fucking-do. Is this supposed to be a bad thing in your eyes? That there might be more than one way to skin a cat?

Runtime dependencies can be a problem, and the way of handling them varies, too. Linux, ironically, just delegates their resolution to compile time, so in case there actually are weird or complex dependencies, it downloads and solves them...provided the software in question is in the repositories. If you try to solve them manually because you downloaded the source and the dependencies separately from a website, it's really no better than Windows.

This is mostly right, although your post tends to imply that needing to manually resolve issues is a common occurance, which it is not (I can't even recall the last time I had to do so).

I'm personally puzzled by some distros' total reliance on the repository: it must suck hard having to install things by hand or prepare application-specific disks, without internet access, while it's a piece of cake on Windows.

if it is so important to you, order some Debian DVDs. It's usually around 20 USD for the entire set. Running offline is not a difficult task.

OK, they kinda managed to fuck that one up with Vista but Windows has easily the largest backwards compatibility of any OS in active use today. I can run 16-bit Windows 1.0 apps on my 32-bit XP SP3, no other OS can do it,

I can run 16-bit Windows apps on my 64-bit Linux install. Beat that.

Linux on the other hand doesn't even have guaranteed binary compatibility between different distros and subsequent kernel updates, what are you talking about? Ah right...you recompile. How's that for 'nuff said?

I can still run the original Unreal Tournament '99 binary (on a completely new CPU architecture, no less). Vista can't, even on the same architecture. How's that for you?

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I love you Maes but I'm forced to agree with MikeRS here. You're spreading a bunch of FUD based on lack of knowledge or very minor cases.

This thread is just full of it.

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I'm going to take a shit on the next linux user I see who uses the acronym "FUD". Is it any wonder nobody takes us seriously?

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Super Jamie said:

I love you Maes but I'm forced to agree with MikeRS here. You're spreading a bunch of FUD based on lack of knowledge or very minor cases.

This thread is just full of it.


This thread was flamebait from the start.

exp(x) said:

I'm going to take a shit on the next linux user I see who uses the acronym "FUD". Is it any wonder nobody takes us seriously?


In terms of "GNU/Linux", Stallman isn't helping matters any either. His behavior and tactics the past year and a half remind me of something a playground bully would dream up.

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exp(x) said:

I'm going to take a shit on the next linux user I see who uses the acronym "FUD". Is it any wonder nobody takes us seriously?

You're really going to get a passport, pack clothes, buy accommodation and a plane ticket overseas just to take a shit on someone? Sounds lke FUD to me...

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