Upgrade question

Tony Karakashian tonyk at rochestermidland.com
Thu Oct 3 07:36:57 PDT 2002

>> I agree with some of your points.  However, I don't
>> agree with the one above.  I have yet to find something
>> I can do in Windows that I cannot do in Linux.  

I have plenty:  Video editing (becoming more popular with
home users, and corporations.  We're doing our own line of
training videos), burning CDs (another thing becoming 
popular with home and business).  But, aside from those
niche items, the simple ability to go to the store, pick
up any piece of software or hardware and be able to use it.
Yes, this speaks more to the maturity and marketshare of the
OS, but it's still a major issue.  Not everyone's a geek.
Linux is still primarily a geek OS, you have to work to
make it work.  A user who can't figure out how to lock
their machine down under Windows isn't going to have an easy 
go of Linux.  "What I have to compile everything before I
can use it?  What if it doesn't compile, then what am I
supposed to do?"  

>> For example, the average home user cannot/will not afford 
>> to setup a M$ machine with the shere number of applications 
>> that a Linux user can for free.  

Ethics aside, I've never seen a home user who ever had that a
problem in that regard, as they just pirate the software.  I'm
not saying it's right, but it's what happens. And I've never 
heard of a software company going after a home user.

>> And for a budding programmer, there
>> is not hope in setting up a good dev environment under
>> M$ like you get with Linux.  

Same thing.  I've only met one programmer who uses MS tools
at home that actually paid for them.  

>> I also don't agree with windows being a better desktop.  The
>> average home user is not an administrator nor do they
>> have an administrator at their disposal to do
>> "best practices".  

If they can't do it on Windows, where it's easy, how are they
going to do it on Linux?  Linux is not secure immediately
out of the box.  Hell, even LFS isn't secure when it's done
compiling!  Just download the TrinityOS doc sometime and see
what you've been missing.

>> Why on earth would M$ knowingly add all
>> new users to the admin group?  

For the same reason a lot of people who use Linux/Unix run as
root.  It's easier for them.  They can install software without
getting weird error messages about admin rights.  They're not
geeks, they don't know how to SU, or even use the "Run As" in
2000/XP.  It's the main reason the move from 9X was so hard,
how do you give people, who can barely turn their machine on, 
a secure OS?  If you make one user with admin privs and the
others without, they will start using the admin for regular
usage.  They're not geeks.  They don't understand the
consequences.  Walk around your organization, how many machines 
have Comet Cursor installed?  They actively agreed to install
it, and had they not had admin privs, but the option to and
the knowledge to know how to use it, they would have probably 
SUed and done it.

I have a couple of people I use as guidelines 
as to useablilty.  I ask myself, "could my father-in-law or
grandmother do this?"  The answer is usually a resounding NO!
And, the worst part of all this is the community.  Read some
of the HOWTOs.  How many have something along the lines of
"if you need to be told how to do X, you shouldn't be using
Linux in the first place"?  Too many.  The community is 
made up of people who know what they are doing and have 
too much scorn for people who don't.  (Not all, mind you,
but enough.)  Same goes true for install information
on the apps you find on freshmeat.  How often have you
found packages where the install information was "read
the source code and figure it out yourself, I'm a 
programmer, not a tech writer"?

>> This sets them up for
> their next generation of TOTAL CONTROL over a user by not
>> allowing certain programs to run etc.  

I'm sorry, I don't suffer from paranoid schitzophrenia, so I
can't comment.  I've been hearing these things for years, and
not once has one ever come true.  I used to hear the same thing
about Novell and IBM, as well.  Paranoid theory is not limited
to MS.

>> The security is pretty tight, however, there are
>> still some holes that are a limitation of the OS.  But these
>> few holes are very hard to get at and 99.9 percent of the
>> users out there don't know how to get to them.  I wanted to
>> do the kiosks with Linux, however a year ago, the higher-ups
>> were not ready to make that step.

What difference would that have made?  Do you not read Security
Focus?  There's at least one Linux exploit on there a week.  I 
would say you could say the same things about Linux as you just
said about Windows.  I don't care what you do, there is nothing
that is 100% secure.  There will always be someone who knows that
ONE trick to get past all of your defenses.

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