[Tfug] Why Desktop Linux Holds Its Own Against OS X | bMighty.com

Jim Secan jim at nwra.com
Sat Jan 10 08:55:02 MST 2009

A data-point:

I'm not a computer professional (one for whom computers are a living) but
a heavy-duty, long-time computer user.  I started back on Big Iron in the
1960s using paper tape and punch cards for input and have probably used
every user interface since that time.  I started trying to make Linux work
for me in the mid 1990s as I was getting very tired of the Microsoft
jerk-around and the high price of Unix software (for the tools I needed
and couldn't write for myself - compilers and such).  I really tried to
make Linux my desktop, and might have ended up there but for Apple's
change to a *nix underpinning.

As was mentioned earlier in this thread, I am one of those people who
knows computers pretty well but doesn't want to have to be constantly
fiddling with them.  A computer to me is like a table saw to a custom
furniture craftsman - he knows that beast inside and out but doesn't want
to have to be constantly fiddling with it.  That's how I came to view
Linux desktops - too damn much fiddling and a new learning-curve around
every corner.  The parts don't always fit together real well, either, and
while I know "the wonderfulness of FOSS is that you can fix what you don't
like" that concept is a non-starter for me.  Also, the much-vaunted
on-line support typically boils down to RTFM (although that's improving).

I will probably always be running at least one Linux box for my serious
processing and one my instrument-control boxes, interfacing via ssh into a
terminal from my desktop box.  Unless something big happens, however, that
desktop box is a Mac.  I use a hammer (Linux) when I'm dealing with nails
and a socket wrench (Mac) when I'm working on bolts.


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