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Topic: CD burning under Linux., Yes, you're missing something.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2002,12:24  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, you're missing something, heh.

CD burning and ripping under Linux is much full-featured and robust than under Windows.  cdrecord and mkisofs are indeed the main applications that people use, along with cdda2wav and bladeenc (http://bladeenc.mp3.no/).

XCDRoast (http://www.xcdroast.org/), paranoia (http://www.xiph.org/paranoia/), burnmp3 (http://richardsnow.bizland.com/burnmp3/id1.html), arson (http://arson.sourceforge.net/),  123mp3 (http://yallara.cs.rmit.edu.au/~bnuske/linux.html), GRIP (http://www.nostatic.org/grip/), and burncenter (http://alex14.home.dyndns.org/burncenter/) are some popular front-ends for the command-line utilities.  There are many more, you can find them (and most anything else) at http://www.freshmeat.net.

With all due respect, "Not the way I'm used to pointing and clicking in Windows" <> "primitive".   One thing I've noticed is that -every time- something is handled differently under Linux than under Windows, your immediate assumption is that it's 'primitive', or 'not as advanced as Windows', or 'lagging behind Windows', etc.

What you seem to be looking for is 'Windows, just not Windows', heh.

Windows and the way it works are not the sine qua non of OSes.  If you want to run Windows, just run Windows.  If you want to learn a new way of doing things under *NIX, learn *NIX.   Learning does not generally involve continuous, uninformed criticism of everything that's new or different about the technology one is trying to learn.  Rather, it involves reading, digging, asking people -why- things are different.

Window-managers and GUIs aside, the command-line is the heart and soul of *NIX.  If you persist in being GUI-centric, you might as well hang it up now and stick with Windows, because you'll never grok or be able to exploit the power of *NIX.

Or get a Macintosh; OS/X is a good, solid, secure OS, and Apple's hardware rocks.  

But please, try to refrain from, "Since it isn't precisely what I'm used to, since it isn't all pointy-and-clicky JUST LIKE WINDOWS, it's primitive", eh?  Else you may end up alienating the people who are the most able and likely to assist you in learning *NIX.


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Roland Dobbins <mordant@gothik.org>
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2002,13:10 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What I am referring to is missing features. Compare the current release of Nero Burning ROM with X-CD-Roast. The feature set of X-CD-Roast does not compare favorably with a Nero release circa 1998, nor with any of the other current Windows CD software. I call that "primitive", and I make no apology for calling it as I see it.

As to the rest of your comments, if Linux is to achieve any significant penetration on the desktop, looking and working like Windows, as well as playing nice with Windows, is exactly what Linux needs to do. Companies like Red Hat, Mandrake, Lindows, etc. are smart enough to realize that, as was Microsoft when they took on NetWare with Windows NT.

Windows users aren't going to change to accomodate Linux. Linux needs to change to accomodate Windows users, or Linux will forever have low single-digit market share on desktops. Fortunately, the aforementioned companies and others recognize that expecting Windows users to learn a whole new way of doing things simply isn't realistic. That's why Linux is looking more like Windows every month.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2002,14:28 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

>What I am referring to is missing features.

What missing features?  Please tell me, what can you do with Burning ROM which can't be done with cdrecord, mkisofs, cdda2wav, mp123, etc.?

X-CD-Roast is a front-end, it isn't an application.  There are many more features supported by the utilities than are supported by X-CD-Roast.  And have you looked at the other GUIs and menu-driven interfaces I listed?  There are many, many more besides that one.

And the beauty of Linux and Open Source, of course, is if there's some tool you lack, it's pretty easy to write one, yourself.  I'm certain that with a bit of study, you yourself could whip up a TK-based ripping front-end with all the features you want.

>As to the rest of your comments, if Linux is to achieve any significant >penetration on the desktop, looking and working like Windows, as well >as playing nice with Windows, is exactly what Linux needs to do.

The first part of this is a completely unfounded assertion, with no data whatsoever to back it up.  

What's needed, if desktop penetration is the goal (it isn't -my- goal, I could care less what the hoi polloi run), is to offer a compelling reason to switch in terms of features and price/performance, along with enough usability that the average Joe can get his work done.  DOS (remember DOS?) was the unfriendliest system imaginable, far more unfriendly (no tab completion in any shell, no man pages, etc.) than *NIX, and yet it achieved market penetration.  Why is that,  eh?

The second part is already true, with Samba, StarOffice, etc.

>Fortunately, the aforementioned companies and others recognize that >expecting Windows users to learn a whole new way of doing things >simply isn't realistic. That's why Linux is looking more like Windows >every month.

-Linux- is -not- 'looking more like Windows every month'.  -Some distributions- with -some window-manager default configs- are consciously aping Windows -with their user defaults, all of which may be completely customized or eliminated at the blink of an eye-.    These things are bells and whistles on top of a Linux distribution.

Red Hat <> Linux.  Lindows <> Linux.  Lycoris <> Linux.  These are -distributions-, and they generally have -default window managers for XFree86-.  And again, all their user defaults can be completely changed and/or deleted.

The GUI <> the OS.  It is -entirely separate- in *NIX.   If all you want is a GUI, why don't you look at Macintosh?  Seriously?  And OS/X allows you to play with as much or as little command-line as you like.

Mark my words, if you persist in thinking along the lines of 'things I can do via some GUI or another = features', you'll never be satisfied with *NIX.  If instead, you think along the lines of 'OK, with all these cool features, what GUI or GUI methods are available (or can easily be cobbled together) to support them via point-and-click', you'll be on the track to success and happiness with *NIX.

I live, work, and play in *NIX.  I've been using *NIX in one flavor for another for 20 years, a full-time Linux desktop/laptop user for 4 years.  It just might be that I know a little bit about what I'm talking about, you know?

;>


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2002,17:00 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

??? I agree with Mr. Thompson. I'm using Xandros Desktop 1.0, which is one of the most Windows-like (what is the plural of Linux, Linii? Lice? ) Linux distibutions. Most users just need to "get things done" and a GUI is often the quickest/easiest way of doing it. We all understand the power of the command line, but it can also get in the way much as a GUI does. When you try to move a file called app-3.0.3.2-linux-i686-pc-gnulib2-tar.gz.moregz.etc , you quickly appreciate drag and drop. In a way, it's like driving a car. A mechanic can throttle up an engine from under the hood, but probably wouldn't want to try to drive it from there.

I like having the option of the command line, but don't want to run from there all the time. As Neal Stephenson said "sometimes I get tired of being a Morlock".
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2002,18:00 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Don't get me wrong - I'm typing this to you right now from Galeon running under Fluxbox (http://fluxbox.sourceforge.net), I'm not a command-line only bigot.  I've been using X for about 15 years, too.

;>

My problem is with claims that 'Linux lacks this' or 'Linux lacks that' when the reality of the situation is that -Linux- doesn't lack it, but rather it lacks the complainant's specific way of doing things under Windows, when in reality Linux offers far more choices for skinning any particular cat than one can name, and with a little bit of research, one can generally find something that will do the trick just fine.

Or, failing that, write a tool oneself.

The GUI isn't the OS.  The GUI is just  a shell, and can be customized and extended infinitely on Linux/XFree86, which is not the case with Windows.  And the Windows paradigm isn't the best one ever thought of, either, it's just the one  that provided enough functionality for people to do a fair amount of things on commodity hardware -at the time it debuted- (in 1995, Linux wasn't usable by the average power-user for all or even most day-to-day tasks.  By 1999, that had changed dramatically.)


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2002,18:22 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh - the plural of 'Linux' is, I believe, 'Linices'.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2002,22:16 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

At the risk of having my head chopped off as a heretic, here are my $.02:

Quote
Window-managers and GUIs aside, the command-line is the heart and soul of *NIX.  If you persist in being GUI-centric, you might as well hang it up now and stick with Windows, because you'll never grok or be able to exploit the power of *NIX.


 Most of us doesn’t want to grok anything. We just want to get our work done. Most people don't want to exploit the power of *NIX anymore than they already exploit the power of Windows (read zero). For all they care the OS could be part of the hardware. To accomplish tasks they need applications and they've spent a lot of time and money through several years developing skills in applications.

 Lets use Nero’s example. Suppose I need to burn a DVD in UDF/ISO 2.01 format as a physical partition and with DVD-Video compatibility. I have no doubts whatsoever that someone can accomplish that task under Linux with cdrecord in command-line mode from memory! However most people are going to use the front end their distribution provides for cdrecord and if that front end does not provide the necessary options to accomplish that particular task they may try another front end or maybe even another application with a different front end, but unless they can accomplish that task in a reasonable amount of time they are going to quit. And if you have even a slight hope that regular computer users are going to be using the command-line to accomplish any significant task, then you're deluding yourself. Also remember that in the Windows and Mac worlds the command-line IS regarded as primitive.

Quote
DOS (remember DOS?) was the unfriendliest system imaginable, far more unfriendly (no tab completion in any shell, no man pages, etc.) than *NIX, and yet it achieved market penetration.  Why is that,  eh?


 Easy, there was no other way. You either learned DOS or you lost your job. You either learned DOS or you couldn't get a job. You either learned DOS or you had to spend a fortune in a closed proprietary system. You either learned DOS or you couldn't use the applications you needed. The reason DOS had any kind of penetration was twofold: the applications were available at a reasonable price and the hardware platform was open (and thus achieved a reasonable price). Had there been a huge installed base of Mac or Amiga users DOS would have never achieved anything.

 If any Linux company wants to achieve success in the desktop it can't fight its prospective users. You already have a huge installed base with an immense inertia and Linux can't hope to change its direction. It would be like trying to make comet Haley stop on its tracks and take a new course. You have to comply with the way people do things. It is far more difficult to teach an old dog new tricks than it is to teach a puppy.

Quote
And the beauty of Linux and Open Source, of course, is if there's some tool you lack, it's pretty easy to write one, yourself.  I'm certain that with a bit of study, you yourself could whip up a TK-based ripping front-end with all the features you want.


 Yes, yes, I was once told by a nuclear physicist that it is very easy to build a nuclear bomb. I can build a server with my eyes closed, I can administer and secure several kinds of servers, workstations and desktops and I can design and install an enterprise network (read small enterprise) from the ground up without a hitch. However never in my life have I written a line of code; I don't have a clue. Why should I write Nero Burning Rom when I can buy it for $40? When you need a new car do you buy the parts separately and build your Ultimate Car?

Quote
What's needed, if desktop penetration is the goal (it isn't -my- goal, I could care less what the hoi polloi run), is to offer a compelling reason to switch in terms of features and price/performance, along with enough usability that the average Joe can get his work done.


 You’re missing something. Your statement is true only if Average Joe is a total novice in computing. His time, or his employer’s time investment costs the same either in Windows or Linux since both start from zero. However for any Average Joe that has already mastered his computing tools his investment (or his employer’s) will only pay off in the short run IF the new tools work in much the same way as the older ones AND the end results are compatible and interchangeable between the new Linux and the old Windows apps. That’s where your next statement fails: StarOffice is not the Holy Grail and will not be until and unless they manage 100% compatibility with Office documents and formats. There are just too many documents that break in StarOffice.

 Your next 3 paragraphs about Linux not being RedHat/Lindows/Lycoris and the GUI vs. OS vs. command-line are patronizing and make you sound as a Linux zealot. You probably have never heard a Linux zealot, but I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of Mac and Windows zealots. Believe me when I tell you that you sound like a Linux zealot!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2003,11:37 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quote (Mordant @ Dec. 30 2002,20:00)

Quote
Or, failing that, write a tool oneself.


While there are indeed some situations where expecting your customer to make things the way they want them is perfectly acceptable, general computer use is no longer one of them.   It's like cars, sure, there are people who modify their cars up the yizz-yang, but most people don't even want to change their own oil.  

That's really the point I think RBT was trying to make, it's not so much a matter of can't, but a matter of not worth the effort as perceived by the person involved..  Which is not something to be automatically condemned, otherwise we wouldn't have pop-tops on Soda Cans.  

Quote
The GUI is just  a shell, and can be customized and extended infinitely on Linux/XFree86, which is not the case with Windows.


You do realize that this assertion is unfounded, right?   In fact, since the cygwin folks have gotten Xfree86 ported to Windows, your statement may be false on its face.   Afterall, if you can customize Xfree86 infinitely on one platform, why not another?      
May take more effort, but since most people won't make the effort either way, preferring to use somebody else's work, the price of that is another type of question than that of using a program.   Interesting how both side have come up, the nature of things being easier for developers and that for the actual users.   What's more important depends on where one sits I suppose.

Anyway, AFAIK all the cdrtools for Linux(mkisofs, cdrecord, etc), have been ported to Windows.   I'm not saying any of the commercial packages use these utilities, but there's nothing stopping somebody from writing a front-end on both  Windows and Linux should they so desired.   Might even be a port of all of the above ones you mentioned, I don't know.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2003,12:46 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I both agree and disagree with much of this conversation.

RBT, you say you want a platform-independent computing interface, everything should be like driving a car: standard and immediately identifiable. I agree that the steering wheel and pedals need to work identically regardless of make or model. And for the most part, the analogy works with Windows versus GNOME/KDE: you locate the “Start” button, open a word processor, type something, save it to disk, and print it in just about the same way no matter what application you use.

On the other hand, what car are you driving? A 1957 Chevy has a completely different dashboard than a 2003 Chevy. Where are the windshield wipers? The headlights? The controls are definitely there, but until you find them, you’re stuck on a dark and stormy night. Is anyone at fault for designing a different dashboard? Is it appropriate to complain that you know your 57 Chevy by heart and now you have to learn a new set of controls? Or do the benefits of using the 2003 model outweigh the learning curve? Does Microsoft Word put Word Count in a different menu than OpenOffice.org Writer does? Definitely. Once you find the command, does the function produce an accurate answer in both places? Yep. Does MS Word offer features unmatched by OO.o Writer? Certainly, and some will prefer to stay with Windows for a long time. But for many people, form follows function, and to be able to do almost every “normal” task in OO.o Writer, Calc, and Impress means that the next upgrade offer for MS Office might be ignored, even though they might have to learn some new skills.

Roland, you offer the canard of “roll your own.” This is a non-starter for the vast majority of computer users. More apropos is “find your own,” which you suggest in several places. This concept works fine—the popularity of shareware.com / download.com for the Windows community means freshmeat.net should be prepared for massive traffic if desktop Linux takes off.

Francisco, you have a good point about compatibility with Office formats, but you don’t point out the converse: if a great majority of users began complaining that they couldn’t read an MS Word file attachment, perhaps open formats would become the standard instead. Naïve as it may sound, Microsoft’s power is not absolute, and it is only public opinion that keeps Office formats alive. The infamous essay by Stallman exhorting people to reject all MS documents sounds extreme, but it describes a very effective grassroots response that could eliminate proprietary formats. However, all this is beside the point of the topic of this thread, burning a CD: the handful of disc formats are all open standards (that might not be totally accurate?) and fully supported on all platforms.

All in all, I think the time for desktop Linux is almost, but not quite, here. A few more adventurous souls will take up the OS during 2003, but some features are still inadequate for home users—businesses with help desks and support centers are already proving the value of Linux in the work place, but home conversion will not succeed en masse until more of the standard daily tasks of computing are completely idiot-proof.

Following are some thoughts related to Linux conversion:

Problem: RedHat presents X-CD-Roast as the “preferred” application for burning CDs. The novice user does not know that there are a wide variety of other choices that may (or may not) be more suited to the task. Somebody has made the value judgment that XCDR is appropriate for wide distribution. Perhaps that choice is now outdated, but because the maintainer of the Multimedia section of the distribution is concerned with other issues, the need to add new burners to the menu is low priority—that problem has already been solved.

Solution: A more active user base providing feedback could help add valuable applications to the distribution, but at the risk of overwhelming the maintainers with requests, especially by project leaders hoping to get more recognition and utilization of their products. The KDE group seems able to handle this situation, though, so maybe it is not so problematic after all.

Problem: Most, perhaps all, GUI CD-burners for Linux are merely front-ends for command-line-interface utilities. If one experiences difficulty with the GUI, some knowledge of the underlying CLI operations could be useful, but the problem may be a convoluted mixture of bugs in both GUI and CLI, not to mention OS-level problems (the IDE-SCSI module, for example). How is a user to work around these errors, short of installing another application, with no guarantees it will behave any better?

Solution: Most people gravitate to a GUI environment, eschewing the CLI for power-users. For better or worse, the trend in computing is not toward, but away from, the CLI. The relevant question here is not how to persuade a user that he should learn to use cdrecord, et al., but how to ensure that a user can easily accomplish his desired task without regard for the underlying mechanics. Again, inclusion of more diverse (and by extension more capable) GUI applications in a Linux distribution makes a more useful and productive environment for novice and experienced users alike.

Problem: A lot of diverse solutions exist, but how to get them? Because of the libre software community, a wealth of choices can be sampled for no cost, a distinct advantage over Windows-based solutions. Problems of complexity and suitability arise, however, during download and installation (especially if compilation is required—the CLI dilemma in different context) as well as during use of the program.

Solution: With RPM and apt-get, the acquisition and setup phase is becoming less onerous, but installing fresh software has not yet achieved the simplicity of an InstallShield for Windows. Most Windows users expect to double-click a program to install it with little intervention, and if they don’t like the program, to go to the Control Panel and click a couple of times to remove it. Windows users are not brave enough to open a shell and untar/configure/make their own applications, nor to make clean afterward. The Linux community must endeavor to improve installation and removal of applications if desktop use is to take off. A beefier set of Control-Panel-like functions is also crucial to providing users the tools they need to maintain both their hardware and their OS.

Problem: It’s rarely possible to find favored Windows applications ported to Linux. Though this situation might improve in the future, for now a novice must expect to learn new programs and other computing habits if he wishes to use Linux.

Solution: Write your favorite software publisher and request they consider a Linux port for their current or next release. Promise you would pay for the upgrade. (Money talks, after all.) In the meantime, try out alternatives, and you might find out that the open source community has produced a superior product. Yes, it might require a little bit of training, but that is not a systemic problem for Linux developers, but rather a challenge that users must accept. Why do people assume that changing to a new operating system will be seamless? Even choosing to switch to OS/X involves learning new habits: what the heck is with this crazy Apple mouse? Where’s Explorer at? Oh, it’s called Finder? (Forgive me if my terminology is wrong, my experience with Macs is fleeting.) One simply cannot expect immediate proficiency with a new tool, no matter how complex or mundane.

SUMMARY: Linux is not necessarily better or worse than Windows in providing functionality, but ease of use and standardization are two hurdles to providing novices a satisfying experience. Developers should recognize that a simpler tool might do the job as well as a complex one, even if it takes longer or is less elegant; however, assuming some need for training is the responsibility of the user.

RECOMMENDATION: The IT community will soon realize that copying Windows stroke-for-stroke (click-for-click?) is a losing strategy in the evolution of desktop computing, whether the next platform of choice is Linux or some unimagined “Whizzix OS.” We compute in hopes of making work simpler and less arduous, and the way to win converts is to help Windows enthusiasts discover that Linux offers simpler applications with similar or better outputs. Freedom from Outlook viruses is an excellent example of an improved output; developers need to create dozens, even hundreds, of these benefits, then trumpet the achievements until “everyone knows” that Linux (or Whizzix) is a better choice. Thus will critical mass be achieved and the platform will become the preferred one for users and developers alike.

---

Obviously, I am not a guru, and may be wrong about any (but not all, surely) of the above. I'm eager to see opposite views, especially since even after 25 years in the industry, I am still formulating my opinion of the IT world as a whole.

Cheers,

Chris Lake
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2003,13:06 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cygwin is a shell, not the OS itself.  The GUI for the Windows OS is embedded into the OS itself; the Stardock stuff and other things may -hide- it, but it's always there, with those same DLLs always present.

In Windows, the GUI and all its trappings are an integral part of the OS, and cannot be removed.  

Therefore, my statement is entirely correct.

Cygwin is an excellent way for people new to *NIX to have a chance to dip their toes into the water.  I recommend it highly.

To those of you who come from the Windows world, and who want 'Windows, only not Windows'; be advised, you will -never- be satisfied with *NIX.  It will -never- have a 'standard' way of doing things.  It will never have a 'standard' GUI.  It will never have a 'standard' developer's kit.

To the extent that certain distributions such as Red Hat keep bolting on more and more things to their Linux distribution, they are going to end up essentially re-inventing all the bloat - and a good deal of the problems - of Windows.  Now, the nice thing about Linux is that one can strip out as much or as little of that bloat as one likes, along with the bugs, security risks (not as deep nor systemic nor as prevalent as in Windows by several orders of magnitude, but still there and still additive); some of us prefer to run more *NIX-like distros such as Slackware (http://www.slackware.com, what I run), Debian (http://www.debian.org, juvenile politics, but a good distro), or even a home-made one (
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/).

The power of very simple shell-scripts (I have a one-line shell-script which strips out control-Ms from text-files generated on Windows, because I can't be bothered to remember the syntax), combined with iconified or menu-triggered window-manager ways to call those shell-scripts, offers a very easy way to harness the power of the CLI without having to memorize lots of options, etc.  One must only figure something out -once-.

To take Mr. Thompson's analogy a bit further (thanking him for his kind words all the while), those of you who want 'Windows but not Windows' are like those who say they want to fly helicopters, but instead of learning how to fly helicopters, demand that the helicopter be rebuilt into a Cessna 172.  And then expect to be able to take off from and land on rooftops with it.

For the third or fourth time in this thread, I'll ask again - why not Apple?  Apple's OS/X is a solid, eminently usable OS, which also alows one to get at a lot of the power of the *NIX CLI if one chooses to do so.  The hardware is gorgeous, the applications all work the same.

To me, that makes a whole lot more sense than demanding that helicopters be converted into Cessnas.

There is a fundamental split in this world between people who think software is something one -buys-, and people who think that software is something one -builds-.  Those of you in the former camp will -never- be satisfied with *NIX.

This doesn't mean that I have some communisitic 'software should be free' attitude - I don't.  Paying money for specialized apps, things which simply can't be tackled by individuals or teams working on their own without recompense, makes eminent sense.  But saying. "I'm willing to pay $40 to burn CDs, when I haven't even bothered to investigate all the free options, including all the free GUIs and character-mode menu systems" strikes me as being downright silly, not to mention wasteful (man, if I paid $40 a pop for all the literally thousands of different utilities and so forth I have sitting here on my Slackware ThinkPad, I'd be devoting my entire income and then some to paying for things which are freely available).

But this, "I can't be bothered to learn anything new, I wants it like I wants it" attitude, combined with the "I'm also unwilling to code/graft/hack it to be the way I want it" attitude, almost ensures you'll never be happy with *NIX.

*NIX is a do-it-your-selfer, a get-it-and-then-fix-it-upper.  It's for people who want to learn how to fish, rather than having said fish handed to them on a silver platter.  It's for hot-rodders, instead of for people who just want to pack the family into a station wagon and then get full-service at the gas station.

If you're in the second set, you really ought to either a) stick with Windows (bad choice), or b) go Apple (eminently sensible choice).  Or you'll -never- be satisfied.


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