Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Other OS

Ya know what really bothers me? The fact that the mainstream game publishers aren't taking Linux seriously. True, its not really a market share powerhouse, but I think if games started shifting to it, it would become one. In all honesty, aside from the lack of game support, I feel that Linux is the best OS out there. With only a hand full of free programs you can achieve 100% of all your needed functions that are not game related.

VLC player - plays just about any media file you throw at it.

Firefox - works just as nicely on Linux as it does on your Windows box.

Thunderbird - sister program to Firefox is a robust email organizer like Outlook - is basically a free version of Microsoft Office (which isn't preloaded on most PCs anyway) and will even use Microsoft Office files.

Gimp - is Photoshop, but free (and again isn't something that is preloaded with Windows PCs)

Gaim - is a multi-messenger that IMs with most instant messenger programs

These few programs really cover just about everything the average PC user really does with their PC. And not that many AVERAGE users use Photoshop but I figured I would throw that one out there anyway. And I only covered what normal people do. There are tons of apps for Linux which realy do just about anything you could want. On top of that, many distributions of Linux come with neat little upgrade consoles that list all the free plugins and applications that you can add with the click of a button, without having to scour the internet for them.

Perhaps the coolest feature of Linux is the portability. Many distros are lightweight, fast and able to be installed and booted from just about anything. I think I heard about a guy booting his PC with Linux from the onboard memory of his printer once!

My favorite distros are the Live CD versions. These guys boot right from the disk into RAM meaning you don't have to install it at all, nor do you even need a hard drive. Once my HDD but lost none of computers functionality because I had a Live CD disro laying around. I popped it in right after the HDD failed and was right back on the net surfing along as if nothing had happened. Using a Live CD, you can test out Linux without messing up your existing OS.

My favorite one right now is Linux Mint 7. Burn a copy and Try it out!


RetroPengo said...

The dude that booted Linux on his printer memory did actually succeed, but it was a super-stripped down version of the core linux files. He had no functionality besides booting really.

Linux will never be taken seriously because most Linux fanboys are the worst kind of fanboy and don't actually do an effective job of spreading it.

Now, the real problem I personally have with Linux is their inability to get working drivers. I upgrade my PC constantly being that specific kind of gamer, and I have to say I've never gotten Linux distros to work quite right.

The other problem is the lack of a realtime timer event schedule. The only distro i've seen with one built in (preventing the need to freaking recompile linux *shudder*) is Ubuntu Studio, and it really just doesn't work.

plus, you can get all these free programs for windows.

On top of that, Win 7 is really like a tiny god. The best things about Win and some good ideas from linux and some from Apple's OS all wrapped in a pretty package really make me drool.

Also, and probably most important, is the fact that people can OBLITERATE their computers with linux. There is no built in "dummy control" so when you put a general user in front of linux and give them a "linux for dummies" book, you can expect them to accidentally murder your filesystem within 5 minutes.

Yes, Linux is a great OS, but it has some staggering problems that will always prevent it from becoming mainstream.

Mint is very cool and my mom is actually running it on my advice. :P (she knows to not mess up her file system. haha)

Ev said...

The real benefit of Linux is the fact that it's free. I do agree though that the biggest con is that it assumes all users are created equal. Perhaps this will change when Google Chrome OS gets released.

RetroPengo said...

The biggest problem with chrome is the fact that Google is stretching itself too thin. Look at when we had Windows and Windows NT. Microsoft learned then that releasing 2 seperate operating systems was a sucker's gambit and now that Win 7 is hitting the table, they're blowing Linux and Apple out of the water. I think that the big G will wind up facing the same problems trying to release 2 operating systems that Microsoft ran across.

Also I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think the time is quite right for a web based OS. Plus how do we keep Google from stealing our personal info? Sure Google seems trustworthy, but are they?

Plus what do us gamers do? It seems more like a layman's operating system that allows mostly basic functionality. At least on Linux and Mac you can have some semblance of game-playing ability through windows environments or games made for the system. I think that basing Chrome on a browser type of tech is going to shoot Google in the foot. There's simply not enough headroom to do the things we want to do, even if it IS free. Same problem with Linux.

Linux doesn't really so much assume all users are created equal as it just doesn't care if you know how to use it or not. It's got a personality like most linux fanboys I have met in my time. Brash and holier-than-thou.

There really IS a dark side to open source.