back to article The netbook newbie's guide to Linux

This is a series about the Linux OS on netbooks, but we need to remind ourselves that these devices aren't personal computers. The personal computer is a machine you work on. Netbooks are essentially machines you work through, out into the Cloud. It shouldn't matter what the operating system is. Or the hardware. Ideally, all …

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  1. John Farthing
    Gates Horns

    Newbie disappointment

    But for the Linux newbie moving from Windows, they will miss catching up with their favourite TV programs via ITV, Five, Sky and the like. yes, there are ways around it, but not ones to be tackled by a newbie. They will also miss their beloved iTunes.

    I know too many people who have been caught out with a EEE or an Aspire thinking Linux will give them the same out of the box functionality as XP or Vista

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    "The Important Bits"

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

    You know how Linux is case-sensitive? Well how about slapping the sub-editor who "typeset" those erroneous initial caps into your list of commands?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is present working directory

    you can tell who came in on the GNU bandwagon (though note they haven't stolen the acronym just left others to misinterpret it).

    But, at least man is being shown so kudos for that.

    Oh, it is not hard to get DVB working, just a kernel recompile away.

    If it is your first night with unix, then you have to compile.

  4. Andus McCoatover

    Newbie disappointment?

    Dunno. When I bought my second eeee701 locally in Finland, I was specifically told not to expect XP/Vista performance.

    So, I've said the same to everyone I've shown my eee to. Mate of mine didn't listen (even tho' Id lent him the box overnight) and gave it away!

    I've said before, it does what it says on the tin, no more. (Using it in a pub in Oulu to write this, BTW)

  5. Dave Bell

    Open Office quite good

    My environment is often internet free, which rather dents the Cloud idea. Open Office does work well, but I await with interest information on any alternative approach. Keeping my desktop and netbook synched would also be a useful topic.

  6. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: Newbie disappointment

    Uh, they have a telly.

    Why are they wanting a PC as a telly? Especially one with a 9inch screen?

  7. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: Newbie disappointment

    Uh, they have a telly.

    Why are they wanting a PC as a telly? Especially one with a 9inch screen?

    PS out of the box, XP doesn't given them these either. Nor does Vista (which you can't FIT in a netbook). Heck, XP comes with bugger all and can't take it either on a netbook.

  8. Mark
    Stop

    "Oh, it is not hard to get DVB working, just a kernel recompile away."

    Bollocks.

    Hauppage DVB tuners are supported AS A MODULE. No kernel recompilation.

    Now try to get your VLB graphics card working under Vista.

    Pratt.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Newbie disappointment?

    ... or as I heard a salesperson in Tesco say "it uses some different system and won't run MSN Messenger"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Mark

    Is that the best response you could come up with? You twunt.

  11. Douglas Lowe

    Re: desktop/netbook syncing

    I've been using unison ( http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/ ) to keep my desktop and laptop synced. It takes a little while to set up, but isn't platform specific (I sync between ubuntu and OSX, but I believe it's got a windows client too) and is very flexible.

  12. Allan Rutland
    Flame

    re: Newbie disappointment

    Think that’s why there was rumours around that 80% of the Linux based netbooks were having XP installed on them inside the first month. I know the ones I've sold personally have had most returns to get XP installed onto them thanks to iTunes. Guess it makes perfect sense why Apricots going XP only on them. Saves the user hassle.

    Love it or hate it, Joe Blogs consumer knows XP as its so dog ancient now it's pretty entrenched in their minds. They aren't to fussed about anything else be it Vista or Linux.

  13. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Anonymous Coward

    At least I'm not a cowardly twunt.

  14. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Ukrainian man pages?

    man-pages-uk contains man pages translated into Ukrainian. For American man-pages, try man-pages. If they have been translated to British English, you would find man-pages-gb.

    If iTunes does not support Linux, that is their problem. There are plenty of alternatives. For legal DRMless music, try www.play.com.

    For synching, I use rsync. If you have a fast network connection to your desktop machine, you might prefer to log in to it remotely (one of the options when you are about to log in on you laptop, or if you start a new session).

    If you are concerned about being locked into a cloud, and openoffice is a bit too big for you laptop, try abbyword or koffice.

    This 80% returns of Linux laptops rumour is just FUD. According to Jerry Shen (CEO of Asus), the figures are about equal for Linux and XP. Are 80% of XP machines being returned?

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/10/22/asus_ceo_shen_speaks_out/

    To get the same 'out of the box' functionality as an XP or Vista machine from Linux, I recommend deleting most of the software, removing half the memory and posting you paypal account details on some news groups.

  15. Saucerhead Tharpe
    Linux

    MSN

    I use Pidgin when talking to an MSN using pal. There is me on my wee EEE, he is on his dektop machine in Hungary, works fine.

    I've used the EEE for the BBC iPLayer too

  16. Sim
    Heart

    i do work on my eee pc but not in a cloud

    "Netbooks are essentially machines you work through, out into the Cloud."

    Well I do some web development on my eee 901 but I do not intend to store data in a cloud (ever) . I also use my laptot to watch AVIs in bed.I will not be using itunes either (ever) -VLC media player will do for me. I learned quite a bit about using Linux such as installing applications ,understanding the file system ,etc. , but I needed to get on with some work rather than learning a new OS so I installed an nlited version of XP .Windows 2k did not cut it -wireless support mainly and I could not get the webcam working (not that I need it much). When I get some time I will set up Linux on an SD card and have a dual boot setup.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Re: @Anonymous Coward

    Mark: "At least I'm not a cowardly twunt."

    Really? Then maybe you'd like to give us your surname?

    No, I thought not.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Major improvement on chapter one

    ... so much so that, if I didn't make my own "working on" 'puters I would now be in the market for an EEEEP. 11/10. (yeh okay - the "UpperCase issue" highlighted above is a bit of an oversight but with our input and a little work I think you have the makings of a damned good PDF help file).

  19. Steve
    Linux

    cloud smoud

    The cloud is fine, until you find that you've no wifi and want to modify a document.

    Synchronising to the cloud is the answer, not relying on always having access to it.

    Unison would be hard work though, it's a shame there's no linux folderShare client.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Applications are more important than the OS

    Unfortunately to tell the average computer user "Don't use ITUNES" and buy your music from play.com and use linux, when they are locked into ITUNES with DRM'ed music bought from the ITUNES store, is a little unrealistic.

    Whether we like it or not applications are more important than the operating system to most users. User's don't talk about "word processors" and "Media Players" they talk about Microsoft Office, Open Office, ITUNES etc. Unless core user applications can be ported, or emulated you won't get a large number of users using linux operating systems...

  21. Mark
    Stop

    re: Applications are more important than the OS

    What are you on about? iTunes isn't the application you want. The AAC from the iTunes store is what you want to play. That could be done by Amarok and the users wouldn't care.

    Office isn't why MS Office is used at work: the documents in that format are what you want MS Office for.

    There are only a few programs where it is the applcation is what you want. Examples are Maya 3DSMax. Applications where the task is so complex and the output so generic that the only discriminator is how the app operates.

  22. Mark
    Stop

    re: Anonymous Coward

    You first you mealy mouthed coward.

  23. John Ellin
    Thumb Down

    Please.....

    if I remember rightly, ls is short for list schema. Also, isn't more the M$DOS equivalent of the *NIX more command ?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    re: re: Anonymous Coward

    Mark: "You first you mealy mouthed coward."

    Okay then. My surname is 'Bellend'.

    You next.

  25. Torben Mogensen

    Re: Open Office

    Instead of Open Office, do it the real Linux way and use Emacs (or Vim) and LaTeX for word processing and presentations (pdflatex with the beamer class and an PDF viewer) and a "real" programming language for calculations (instead of a spreadsheet).

  26. Rob Beard
    Linux

    iTunes on Linux

    As far as I'm aware iTunes works with CrossOver Office. At least iTunes 7,3 works with Wine on Linux - http://www.wine-reviews.net/applications/itunes-73-on-linux-with-wine.html

    Not being a fan of DRM ridden overpriced players I wouldn't know if the latest version of iTunes works (although you can still upload MP3s to an iPod.

    Now if I could find a way of putting music on my HiMD Minidisc rather than using that crappy Sonicstage software (oh hang on, Minidisc's are DRM ridden with crap software too!).

    Rob

  27. Mark
    Alien

    @MyNameIsMarkAndI'mA

    Wow. Did your parents ever hate you.

    Can see why.

  28. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Cloud? Cloud?

    What *is* this cloud thing?

    Why would *any* sane person ever want to entrust their data to some nebulous philosophy? My data, my PCs, and that's where it stays. I have enough problems with network-stored data that's suddenly unavailable if I don't have a network at work.

    And why assume it's not a device that people will use to compute with? My AA1 (1G/120G) has plenty of power to do what I need - document preparation, audio/video, software development, navigation, hardware design... sure, I paid the windows tax; some of the apps I need are only available in windows (anyone know a linux equivalent to Autoroute that includes maps of all of Europe, plus routeplanning, plus gps tracking?). At some convenient time, the windows partition will be shrunk and kubuntu will be added as the primary OS.

    Meanwhile, the AA1 replaces an old, hot, and noisy tower with approximately the same performance, and sits nicely under the external keyboard and monitor.

  29. IanPotter
    Flame

    re: re: Anonymous Coward

    >Okay then. My surname is 'Bellend'.

    Are you sure, you sound more like a Gobshite to me.

    Back under the bridge troll.

    Getting back slightly on topic, when I plugged my Nano into an Ubuntu machine at work I was rather surprised and pleased to find it discovered it immediately and popped up Rhythmbox to manage it. iTunes has become to blecherously slow and unstable on XP that I can barely bring myself to use it these days.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Man info

    So much for man - whats wrong the gnu replacement 'info', which is already in the on the Aspire, and is on the other two machines, and the documentation is generally more up to date/availble than man pages on linux.

  31. jake Silver badge

    I must be getting old ...

    >But how did those old Unix guys remember all those esoteric commands?

    Uh ... Because there weren't as many commands in the old days, and as we went from "young" to "old" we invented stuff as we needed it?

    Remember when DOS fit on a single floppy and was extremely easy to memorize? How big and complex was the last version of "DOS" (Win98SE)? Those of us who followed the DOS -> Win trail over time didn't find Win98SE to be all that difficult.

    And again, what's with all this "cloud" stuff? Write it in vi, and then type-set it in whatever you use for type setting. (Or "copy & paste to Word (OO) & make it look pretty" if "type set" is too technical.)

    The Ukrainian man pages made me giggle, too :-)

  32. W
    Boffin

    re: re: "re: Applications are more important than the OS"

    Hi Mark. Me again (No surname - a la Pelé, non?).

    Yup, I'm flexible on Office Apps for .doc or .xls. And OOo is multi format, so no bother.

    I hear what you're saying about the 3DS Max "niche".

    People can say the same for the Photoshop and AutoCAD "niches".

    Some might claim the (multiformat) GIMP is a sufficient replacement for PS. I'm fairly keen on Paint.NET (whilst aware of it's limitations). But neither are gonna get close to competing with PS as well as Firefox has done with IE (as we've already discussed this one).

    For better or worse, those Win exclusive niches are adding up, eh?

    FF (and Opera et al) users can, and do, cajole the more innocent folk away from IE for their own good. I've installed it on my bosses 98SE machine and renamed the desktop shortcut "Internet" without him noticing! I'd guess that a good chunk of FF installs are on parents (etc) machines, done by the family techy type looking for an easy life.

    FF is multiformat and was almost unanimously seen as superior to the appaling IE6 by anyone who knows a smidgen, with a painless transition for those who know much less but might have heard the evangelical chorus.

    Yet with all it has going for it, it's still *easily* in the shadows of IE in terms of % users. Even on W3Schools user figures show usage as 49% on IE6+7 and 43% on FF (with Safari and Chrome on 3 apiece, Opera on 2). IE beats FF on W3Schools ferchrissakes.

    Linux *is* the format (distros notwithstanding). The transition is not *nearly* as slick as IE to FF. And, in any case, the few (but solid) benefits just aren't being bought into by the user on the street. Even those that "want to believe" have yet to be convinced.

    I'm afraid these newbie guides and the touchy Linux zealots act as an advert for XP. And in the current marketplace, the various toy Linuxes on netbooks are only doing severe harm to the cause.

    The best thing that could happen for Linux adoption is if Ubuntu Remix (or some other common version) is adopted as the alterna-OS that everyone can get behind.

    Do you think that the moderate real world take up of could have occured if there were a whole bunch of different flavours of browser and each one required you to use a command line and "howto" to do anything other than bookmark a page or do a Google search?

    >>>MS had killer success with their PC = Win = IE = internet shenanigans

    >>>Apple have simply replicated that trick the notion that iPod = iTunes = portable digital music

    >>>Linux hasn't even come close to managing the promised landgrab of Netbook = Linux = truly mobile laptop

    Finally, a quote:

    "...from now on, you're operating the way I say...We're gonna get organized and I'm gonna handle the works. It's gonna mean twice as much dough for everybody and half as much trouble...Running beer isn't a nickel game anymore, it's a business and I'm gonna run it like a business..." - Scarface, but it might as well be Gates or Jobs.

    "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." - Mahatma Gandhi, and maybe Linus and honest Lintards also?

  33. Christopher Martin
    Stop

    Stop pushing the Cloud

    "As a netbook user, Google Docs should probably be your word processor of choice too. It's a Cloud application, and it also maintains your data out on the net, and this is ***how netbooks are meant to work***."

    I suppose I can't speak for others, but my eee has 20 gigs of ssd (currently full of movies, but would surely fit plenty of "word processing"), and OpenOffice runs much more smoothly than the big pile of bloat that is Firefox 3 stumbling under loads of javascript. Even the limited read/write speed of the flash memory, which is the biggest bottleneck in the system, is faster than the Internet.

    I can see conceptually why a netbook article is the perfect excuse to start pushing this Cloud thing, if you're a journo who thrives on buzzwords. But once you get your netbook, and start using it, the practical user will realize that tiny computers are computers too. They're a glorious revolution in form factor, not in software architecture.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    commands

    apt-get comes from Debian, Yum is fedora. Google docs can be synced and edited offline using Google Gears, same for your emails . For a lighter office app use Abiword. Amsn has most of the functions in windows messenger. My Eee 701 came with Xandros , that lasted a day before I installed Debian on it.

  35. Mark

    @W

    They aren't "Windows niches". These programs are available for Windows and most not for Linux (Maya is, as is lightwave and PS CS3 works under Crossover Office, probably Wine too now). These windows niches are getting smaller aren't they.

    There's no need for these to be on Windows either. It used to be all these programs were NOT on Windows. Windows still (somehow) managed to get in front. Maybe because the "need" for these programs are very much a niche market and their "need" overexaggerated to "prove" someone is right in knocking Linux.

    Linux doesn't CARE about "beating Windows" and this is one of the major reasons it IS beating Windows and Microsoft cannot find a way to fight back: Linux isn't playing the game.

  36. Dominik Mierzejewski
    Linux

    A little nitpick

    > sudo yum list | grep man

    This can be replaced with a more effective:

    sudo yum list man\*

  37. W
    Boffin

    @Mark

    "Linux doesn't CARE about "beating Windows"[1] and this is one of the major reasons it IS beating Windows[2] and Microsoft cannot find a way to fight back[3]: Linux isn't playing the game.[4]"

    [1] You wouldn't know it by listening to it's fanboys (you included).

    [2] Not in any meaningful way beyond servers.

    [3] You underestimate the sneakiness of the Beast of Redmond when it's cornered, which it isn't yet, even after Vista.

    [4] Linux is still in the changing rooms deciding which "flavour" of kit to wear.

    You're playing with language and circular, rhetorical agruments and you're losing focus.

    After the first episode of this series I asked for Linux's "Killer App" or USP.

    User friendliness and security are both total red herrings. Windows is superficially functional and forgiving (though, personally, I fcuking hate those pseudo-folders like 'recent'). Free Avast/AVG/Antivir is a fine and unobtrusive enough setup for most folk these days (and so ubiquitous now, that most folk would probably feel uneasy riding Linux 'bareback'). Minumum spec isn't a meaningful enough bonus on a like-for-like installation. The price argument is weak when XP on an SCC is effectively £20.

    For me, this was probably the best answer:

    "...in response to the "killer app" question - for me, it's the package manager. Synaptic, apt-get, yum, whatever comes with your distro of choice. Saves me from having to download an installer, put up with its inane "install wizard" prompts, etc, etc. Dependencies are automatically installed. In a single command and a matter of minutes (possibly seconds), I can have virtually any application I'd want. And then Update Manager keeps them all patched. Uninstall/purge is just as easy, and unneeded dependencies are automatically removed. It all can be done through a gui if you'd like. It makes Windows/Mac systems look downright archaic."

    The idea of a (sufficiently comprehensive) package manager is a sound one. And Linux arguments would do well to focus on it rather than bleat about marginal security issues or spec requirements.

    To really focus back on this article, the broken Linuxes found on netbooks/SCCs are doing Linux a disservice. The fact this article exists is proof of that. Manufacturers need to align behind Ubuntu[5] and slap it on these machines right across the board[6] and then we might see some credible levels of Linux uptake[7].

    [5] or some other friendly proper flavour of full Linux. Difficult to get a consensus, I know, due to the nature of the beast, but it's a necessity.

    [6] except, shortsigtedly, they won't. They each seems to see their own broken Linux as an opportunity to create some pseudo-proprietary appliance feel. But with each broken fork that gets bought by an unsuspecting member of the general public, Linux's wider long-term credibility is damaged.

    [7] as in close to the modest FF uptake, as per my earlier point.

  38. Mark

    @W

    Just because I call you and other MS zealots out on the bullshit doesn't mean that I think Linux should "win".

    It works for me, now, this instant.

    What I don't want to see is it excluded (DRM and TPM would do that nicely, MS's patent calamities and MSOOXML would do it too).

    That you can only think of people wanting something to be *allowed* to compete must mean that they want it to "win" shows how poor a human being you are.

  39. W
    Boffin

    @Mark

    "That you can only think of people wanting something to be *allowed* to compete must mean that they want it to "win" shows how poor a human being you are."

    If you don't want something to compete to the point of "winning" then surely you're happy for it to simply exist. Which Linux (and those involved in it) is fully *allowed* to do, and is doing, currently. What's the problem?

    I haven't been evangelising this "win" you speak of. I can see some benefits, just not for everyone out there...yet. But I'm perfectly happy to see a situation where Linux increase it's market share. And more so than you, apparently.

    I've identified the reasons why Linux isn't more popular and I've come up with suggestions as to why that is and how it could change.

    Whereas you've simply resorted, time and again, to wordplay and personal insults - claiming simply that the user is at fault for not wanting to join your ghetto in it's current state.

    Don't take it personally though, you're not the only one this applies to.

    Yes MS have been super-snidey with their MSOOXML shenanigans. And they've had plenty of shady episodes in the past. But that has little to do with the issue at hand, other than simple fact that systems come preinstalled with an (MS) OS because MS offer discounts to bulk resellers. That's life. If people (en masse) hated it so much, they'd choose something else. But they don't. So they don't.[1] With IE->FF, *some* do, so *some* do.

    [1] A few Apple buyers and a handful of Ubuntu converts does not a revolution make. Most of the people who opt-out of Vista will buy-in to XP in the first instance rather than opt-in to something else (Linux/OSX). Further evidence of Linux's limited appeal in it's current state(s).

    For clarity: Pre-install Ubuntu onto these SCCs and there's a chance things might pick up for Linux. But I'd suggest that current levels of Firefox adoption represent a model of the the upper bound of any uptake rate.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ Mark

    Mark: "Just because I call you and other MS zealots out on the bullshit..."

    MS zealot? Did you even read W's posts?

    Get your head out of your arse.

  41. Mark

    @Troll Retard

    I can say I'm a millionaire.

    Doesn't make me one.

    W can say he's not an MS zealot, but his actions speak otherwise.

    And stop trying to get your head up my arse, pervert.

  42. Mark

    @W

    "[1] You wouldn't know it by listening to it's fanboys (you included)."

    A quote from you, that.

    The rest of the figures are pulled from the place where the sun shines not.

    Ubuntu isn't all that Linux is.

    "Instant On" Dells use Linux to play the media on the laptop without booting. Linux is used widely on many desktops across the world, MS would not be "sneaky when cornered" if it were not so, since they would not be "cornered" to be "sneaky" within. That they pay millions to African countries merely to STOP them using Linux, more millions to suppliers of educational machines to put Windows on there to replace Linux shows that they ARE sneaky.

    And it's all for nothing.

    If MS stopped being cunts and just let the systems work, I doubt whether MS's offering (excepting Vista) would get less than 60% of the market. For some people they do stuff the way people like it done. Hell, some people like "Strictly come dancing". If MS were still fighting to "win" at that point, MS will very likely sink quickly.

    And MS are still stuck in the Old Guard of "if someone else wins, we lose".

    MS cares deeply. A single loss is them "losing" and that don't happen, bro.

    Arrogance and complete twattery. If they grew up, their share would drop a fair bit soon. If they stay infantile they'll lose their share later but they'll lose ALL of it.

  43. Jonathan Richards
    Happy

    @Flocke Kroes

    <quote>To get the same 'out of the box' functionality as an XP or Vista machine from Linux, I recommend deleting most of the software, removing half the memory and posting your paypal account details on some news groups.</quote>

    That's just made for a .sig block. May I?

  44. W
    Boffin

    @Mark

    Again you refer to "winning".

    And you're using insults (if fanboy offends you, I'm deeply sorry), rhetorical arguments and you're straying off topic by focussing on MS 'not playing fairly'. And some stuff about Strictly come dancing...?

    Please focus:

    I'm not talking about Linux powering quick-boot media players on laptops, or on toasters, or wherever. We're talking about Linux on PCs/Laptops. These Atom/1GB RAM/xxGB HDD or SSD specced netbook/SCC machines are capable of much more than that which is offered by the crippled, disparate flavours of Linux, as sold.

    I have a similarly specced desktop machine running XP from a few years ago. It runs 3DSMax5, AutoCAD2002, OOo, Solidworks, Google Earth, Paint.NET, PS, Paint.NET...yaddayadda. No probs.

    I wouldn't concieve of replacing XP with one of these crippled Linuxes. I would concieve of plumping for *buntu (or PCLinuxOS, or maybe another flavour like Mint or openSUSE).

    If you want to play at unmasking these broken Linuxes then with try a similar exercise for your own enjoyment, then that's fine. But me not wanting to doesn't make me some kind of MS lovin' Linux refusenik. If MS released an equivalently locked up version of Windows for these SCCs there'd be screams of blue murder.

    Why should a decent SCC be crippled? I can understand the £99 Elonex type machines being locked down to just internettery. But £200-300+ SCCs capable of much, much more? Surely they deserve (and can totally handle) a proper version of Linux. No, it doesn't have to be Ubuntu (but seeing as that's the posterchild, gets decent press, and consistently heads the Distrowatch charts, you need to put up a good case against it).

    >"W can say he's not an MS zealot, but his actions speak otherwise."

    I use, and sing the praises of; Gmail (and despise Hotmail), OOo (but not Office), FF (not the shoddy IE) Notepad2/++ (not Notepad :-) ), Paint.NET (oooh, MS link here!) (+ some PS Elements, not GIMP).

    I could use Linux, but I use the pre-installed XP/Vista. I can just about see some Pros to Linux, but am not totally convinced of making the jump *yet*.

    MS Zealot? Hardly.

  45. W
    Boffin

    @ Mark

    "the figures are pulled from the place where the sun shines not"

    As stated, browser usage stats are taken from W3schools. Source: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

    As they point out, it's hardly a relative IE love-in over there, which is why I used their figures. Yet IE6+7 still sees more use than FF. Just. Though the long term trend is a positive one for FF. They have OS usage too (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp) but you might not like what you see. And that's on a techy site.

    £20 for XP on an SCC is an easily arrived at figure when you compare like for like (as close as possible) machines such as the Dell Mini 9, AA1 or EEE. Source: dabs, ebuyer, Amazon, laptopsdirect, dell...

  46. Jason Pepper
    Coat

    Boring..

    Gents - All this mud slinging is getting boring.. Can you take it over to ZDNet where it'll be more appreciated ?

  47. Alan Barnard
    Paris Hilton

    Slightly puzzled

    On the one hand, the author says, "...these devices aren't personal computers. The personal computer is a machine you work on." On the other, he says, "But all the SCCs I've seen come with Open Office..." Now OO.org does have a reputation for being a bit of a slug but, if it runs on all of these SCCs, surely we are talking about real, usable, general-purpose computers here. What more could you want unless you have real number-crunching applications? Computer manufacturers (and Microsoft) want to make a clear distinction between netbooks and laptops for obvious commercial reasons - but why does the author want to?

    Paris? Because she has the only icon with a question mark.

  48. Mark

    @W and W3Schools

    There's a hell of a lot of proof of the poor validity of that site for "proving" Windows penetration.

    Why are MS so shit scared for a start about Munich? UK Schools (BECTA) telling schools to use FOSS, Russian schools having to use FOSS or pay for it out of their own pocket (to avoid teachers being arrested for buying software that turns out non legit), Venezuela, OLPC and Classmate PC's being PAID to have Windows put on over Linux (with payment being "marketing contracts" for feck all) and so on, nearly eternally..?

    Either MS are cowardly little girly-men afraid of tiny little mice or you're wrong and they know how much Windows is losing ground.

  49. W
    Boffin

    @Mark

    "There's a hell of a lot of proof of the poor validity of that site for "proving" Windows penetration."

    Wha? The original reference was to FF/IE usage. And it was in no way biased toward MS. Or are you seriously suggesting that FF is used more than IE (even on W3Schools)? The pointer to OS usage figures was an aside in the followup. Why would W3Schools beef up MS OS usage but not MS browser usage? I invite you to either come up with evidence how/why W3Schools has an MS bias AND a provide a credible alternative on browser usage, OR retract your spurious claims and try to FOCUS on the points being discussed.

    "Why are MS so shit scared...[of a reduced market share]"

    OK, we'll go with "shit scared" if you insist. MS income is heavily reliant on sales of their Windows and Office products. Without those sales, they're shafted. Hence protectionist measures like MSOOXML and DRM. Whereas the money making SaaS-based companies (e.g. RedHat) are less reliant on market share of a specific piece of software (i.e. Linux) because they could concievably offer their services in relation to another piece of software. But I won't pretend that I know the ins and outs of the RedHat business model.

    You bang on about MS DRM 'this', dodgy source for OS usage 'that', MS are bullies 'the other'.

    But you continually dodge my core assertion that the current implementation of Linux on SCCs is flawed because it unnecessarily cripples the hardware and does not not meet the mass-market expectation of what an SCC spec machine should be able to do.

    No, XP isn't perfect. But does a better job of meeting that mass-market expectation than having to hack open a crippled version of Linux.

    I agree with the following portion of the article:

    "...design goals seldom accurately second guess the actual use to which things like these are put. We are treating these netbooks as low-cost PC - we are messing with the operating system and expecting to tailor them to our individual requirements. The legacy of the PC invites us to do so."

    I disagree with the following portion of the article:

    "A corollary of this is that it would be idiotic to use these below-the-waterline adventures of ours either as evidence that netbooks are inadequate out of the box."

    Wanting to install something outside the provision of the crippled netbook Linux ring-fence is not "below-the-waterline".

    The article goes on to say " - or that Linux sucks". No, Linux doesn't inherently suck. Obviously. Hence Linux's continued usage. But these crippled versions do suck. Obviously. Hence the need for an article like this one (Which is actually a "crippled Linux newbies guide" rather than a "netbook newbies guide" as hinted at by the URL).

    Pre-install a proper FULL version of a popular Linux flavour on SCCs and Linux SCCs will fare better (but only within the bounds of). That's all I'm suggesting, ferchrissakes.

    Which part of this assertion do you disagree with or not understand?

  50. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

    @W, Mark

    Netbooks are available with a choice of XP or Linux - consumers are able to choose. Many will opt for Linux because the hardware's (slightly) cheaper. They will almost certainly find their purchase entirely adequate for their internet access needs, which are what these devices are for, whatever OS they use.

    These kind of users are not got to be installing software, extra hardware because (in most cases) they have all they need on board already - a notorious exception being the Acer Aspire One's lack of Skype.

    Yes, people like us install apps, tinker with the OS, mess about with the hardware, but many, many netbook buyers won't and don't want/need to.

    Anyone who *does* want to do that will need a guide. It doesn't matter whether their netbook has one of the default distros, or comes with Ubuntu, Debian, SuSE or whatever. I know lots of technically adept people who nonetheless have no experience of Linux. Giving them a helping hand is what this series is about.

    Turning it into an XP vs Linux slanging match is both silly and a perfect example of the immaturity that drives people who make the decision to try Linux away from the 'piss of, you stupid newbie' cliquey Linux forums.

    Stop ridiculing people because they haven't made the same choices as you.

    Photoshop doesn't run on Linux and you need/want to run Photoshop? Buy an XP machine. This is not a difficult decision to make, it's not a failing of Linux that Adobe won't produce a Linux version of Photoshop. It's no big deal either way. It's a prosaic computer purchase decision not a statement of faith.

  51. W
    Alien

    typo (omission)

    "(but only within the bounds of)"

    shoulda read "(but only within the bounds of Firefox adoption, realistically, probably)"

  52. W
    Coat

    @Tony Smith

    This isn't an XP v Linux thing. It's an XP v "Full Linux" v "Crippled Linux" thing.

    There's clearly nothing wrong with having XP and Linux options.

    Granted, there are a few £99-type netbooks (Elonex, et al) that are only credibly capable of surfin' & writin'. And for that, Crippled Linux seems like a logical option.

    But most Netbooks (EEE, AA1, Dell9 et al) are eminently capable of much, much more than surfin' & writin'.

    I don't particularly want to tinker with the OS. But I would like to install apps that the machine is capable of. Is that such a wierd proposition? XP would let me do this. Full Linux would let me do this. Crippled Linux requires me to jump through hoops in order to do this.

    To most of the great unwashed (non-El Reg types), Crippled Linux will be the first Linux that they've experienced (or even know about). And the conclusion they'll come to is that this "other, not proper Windows OS" is a bit limited. But they'll nearly all be familiar with XP. So if the kit is up to it (which it is), why not offer a decent Full Linux (e.g. *buntu or similar) that ain't a million miles away from XP, and let folk explore a little if they want?

    The Crippled Linuxes that are currently pre-installed grossly undersell the capabilities of both Linux and the netbooks they're installed on. Microsoft haven't seen fit to slap a crippled front end on to XP for netbooks, so why is it happening to Linux?

    This article (and many others articles and forum threads like it) are proof that one of the first things that many folk want to do is jemmy open the pre-installed Crippled Linux.

    Mines the one with sleeves and a hood. I paid a smidge more for a zip instead of buttons. I'm not used to buttons, but the slightly cheaper, otherwise identical one with buttons looks fairly good too. And how hard can buttons be eh? I see you've gone for the buttoned one. But why does it have it's sleeves sewn up at the ends and a hood hidden inside the lining? Do come out to play when you've unpicked the stitching, wontcha. :-)

  53. Mark

    @Tony Smith

    Aye, I know.

    And for lots, XP is what they want. Lack of the extra fluffies you can afford to install on a netbook style machine with Linux is of less value than the benefits of XP. The administration is a valid one. If you know how to do it on XP, why learn (for your own needs) how to adminster another? Doesn't make sense. Compatability is another, but one that really shouldn't exist. Computers are only worth it if they can talk to other computers and MS try their damndest to make sure that Windows can only be talked to by Windows.

    Software compatability isn't MS's fault (except in so far as they hide the API. I wonder though where all those MS fans who said "there are no hidden APIs" when MS produced a honking big list of hidden APIs after a court ordered it...) but the ability to produce the output is now hardly a reason to pick one over the other.

    And if you're using "cloud computing" there's no reason at all.

    So the choice between XP and linux is between a machine that administers like your other machine or a machine that has more on it.

    And for Aunt Tillie, she isn't administering either machine.

    For computer knowledgable, learning one OS isn't much different or harder than learning two.

    For computer users who only used Windows, the OS is a lot different. And that isn't a problem with Windows, it's a problem with the user. And it isn't one that the user needs to fix. It's their life and their life is as valid a way of living as any other. But what they shouldn't be doing is saying it is the fault of Linux not themselves. I'd like to change it but as much as for their ability to negotiate a deal for what they take vs what they want as to ensure that I'm not banned from anything for not using the only accepted OS.

  54. Gordon Henderson
    Stop

    Aren't you missing the point?

    My wife bought an AA1 and is very pleased with it. She has no need of a command-line interface at all - for her, it's a tool to write documents, check her email and do some web browsing when she's out and about. That's what 100% of her colleagues want too. They don't care to lift the lid and get inside- seriously.

    I feel that we'll never really get Linux on the desktop as long as we keep on going on about the command-line! (And how many times has my wife run up a CMD window on her XP box? Never)

    And this article - aren't you preaching to the converted? We read the reg. because we're already command-line geeks, lets back-off a bit and let then do what they were designed for - portable appliances to get a bit of work done when mobile, and if we want to get inside, then we're geeks, so know how to go it already!

  55. Bill Cumming

    @ Gordon

    The point is that the main reason people don't go for Linux is, They think the Command line is scary and to complicated. By showing the user that the Command line is actually simple and useful tool (abit a complicated one at first..) in the first few articles, takes the scary value out of it and once that's out of the way people can then concentrate on the benefits of the Linux OS.

  56. Dave Bell
    Linux

    A bit of history

    I used Coherent before I ever used Linux.

    I used MS-DOS, and did weird stuff with batch files.

    I'm not intimidated by a command line.

    But, after more than a decade of Windows being a pretty decent GUI OS, I'm a bit rusty on the details.

    And these netbook machines are more powerful, at the hardware level, than the desktop machine I was using six years ago. OK, small screen. And people buy portable DVD players with screens this size.

    I use Open Office on my desktop. Want to say I should be using MS Office? Look at the price.

    I'm going to ignore the geekish screaming about "proper" linux. I have a machine which works out of the box, though some things could have been done better. I didn't have to think about how to use it.

    It took a little fiddling to install VLC--it seemed easier than trying to get the correct Windows-compatible codecs for the supplied version of mplayer. Some things, such as swtching to the more usual style of GUI, seem to involving hitting a moving target. Asus keep changing details.

    But it isn't so different from setting up Windows to suit me.

    And anybody who starts talking about Photoshop or 3DS MAX in the context of these netbook machines is totally missing the point.

  57. Homard
    Happy

    Microsoft & Linux/OS

    I use both these operating systems, at home and at work.

    *MY* preference is Linux, but I have to say both have GUIs that for the most part are well thought out, and easy to use, even by me; someone with well below average intelligence.

    Now I love a challenge, and indeed the command line does give satisfaction here on Linux; hugely powerful. Used properly, it can be enormously productive, and can at times leave the GUI equivalent standing.

    But your average computer user uses the GUI only, and rarely - if ever - goes to the command line. This makes it a scary place ! Now what do I see on here ? Masses of command line examples ! Sure we all love to show our prowess at the command line, and show off. This puts off potential new users ! This needs to be recognised, and the assholes chastised by members of the Linux/OS community, as I am doing now. I am part of that community, and the assholes really piss me off !

    Linux has some fantastic GUI configuration tools. Huge effort has gone into these. They are a joy to use ! But I fear all the clever-dick I'm so intelligent because I can do the confusing command line thingy assholes are putting new users off. Linux once installed and used through the GUI is every bit as easy to use as Windows. From here it is a matter of user **PREFERENCE**. I have stated mine, but don't expect another user to share it !

    Back to the article thread, cloud computing in concept is an interesting idea, but it has limitations :-

    1) great you can access your data anywhere ? Anywhere ? At no cost ? Get real !

    2) when your highly sensitive data goes walkies, and falls into the wrong hands, just who is liable ? How is that proved ? Who is *really* at fault ? Suspect this will be **VERY** hard to nail. However, **YOU** the user are left with the consequences.

    3) could be a really grand way to shift that illicit content across borders !

    For me, points 1 & 2 kill it. Give me my local apps please ! Which these devices do ! For me, the form factor, and method of primary data storage (flash memory) are attractive, as well as the Linux OS. Small enough to carry on a bike, and no HDD to screw up when hitting a pothole. Add to that I can have gcc/bash, etc, and I'm a very satisfied bunny. I want one ! Now to justify it to the wife .........

    Now if I want to get that data into another country, why thank you for the mechanism !

    As for the Linux experts on here, what does this do ? Don't try it, but think about what it will do. Why is something directed to the null device ? What are the consequences a) as root, b) as normal user ? Newbies **PLEASE** DO NOT TRY THIS ! :-

    find / -exec rm -f {} \; 2>/dev/null

    answers on a flame to el Reg !

  58. jake Silver badge

    "Proper Linux" (and Coherent)

    > I'm going to ignore the geekish screaming about "proper" linux.

    As I'm sure Dave Bells aware, there is no such animal as "proper Linux". Linux is just the kernel. When you add in the rest of the software, it is known as a "distribution". There are large distributions, and small distributions. All are Linux. The true beauty of Linux is that it's totally modular (monolithic kernel aside; that's an argument for another day ...). Don't like any of the distros? Make your own! Is your portable computer missing something? Add it!

    Re: Coherent ... I collect Coherent Lexicons. I give 'em out to the kids I teach who seem to have the aptitude to become SysAdmins. One of the best UN*X learning tools ever published.

  59. spegru
    Unhappy

    Episode 3

    Is it written already?

    For goodness sake, please take account of the comments made above that are largely the same as for episode 1.

    Avoid command line stuff and concentrate on real world usage such as OpenOffice, 3g dongle modems.

    After that how about explaining the concept of repositories?

    Cloud computing misses a huge range of possibilities

  60. Mark
    Flame

    Howard

    Why are you running such a command? If you know /dev/null is the null device, why are you asking what redirecting STDERR to it means?

    Why, in short, are you asking such a question?

  61. Mark

    3g dongle modems.

    It depends on the chipset.

    Which will change based upon whim of the manufacturer to supply support for it. And the chipset will change at the whim of them too, making any precise information worthless.

    Add to that the fact that they change a lot anyway and you have that as a worthless goal.

    Until the wireless hardware manufacturers change their attitude.

    "You can break FCC regulations if we tell you how to operate it!" is bollocks. I can break the emission rules by using a japanese firmware on my wireless card in the UK. Heck, I have to use the japanese firmware on the UK part when I go to Japan. That I can do so doesn't seem to have made the FCC or whatever come down like a ton of rectangular building blocks on them.

    They don't want you to know that the only difference between their "silver" rated hardware and their premium version is a couple of machine commands. You might not buy their premium hardware!

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Mark and W

    Look, we all know the ZX Spectrum is far better than the C64, so get over it. You want a killer app, I'll give it ya, JetSet Willy, so there!

    You want a fight? Outside the bikesheds, after school, 3pm.

    And don't forget, my dad is harder than your dads.

  63. Mark

    PS Stu

    You're a loittle freaking late to say that. By that point the points made had been exhausted. All you managed to do was to put some more tinder under the fire.

    Well done that plonker.

    At the very best you just added another pointless note on the board. I mean, if we're both the sort of childish personality you think we are, do you think we're going to change our ways because YOU made a cutting remark?

    Hell no.

    Pointless.

    Your best option would have been to either put nothing up or to put whatever point pertinent to this article up and ignore the shitstorm you say is pointless.

    'course that isn't as much "fun" is it.

  64. W
    Boffin

    Which part don't you understand?

    @ Dave Bell

    1. >"And these netbook machines are more powerful, at the hardware level, than the desktop machine I was using six years ago." YET "anybody who starts talking about Photoshop or 3DS MAX in the context of these netbook machines is totally missing the point."

    - A contradiction, non? Photographers et. al. might want to use PS/Paint.NET.GIMP in the field. I might want to use a train journey to brush up on 3DSMax/Sketchup/Blender. My company might want to dispense with the pen & paper stage and use AutoCAD stright away on site when doing surveys. These are all valid uses for a machine with a spec that (as you point out) is eminently *capable* (although admittedly not *optimal* due to screen size for a start).

    The assertion that the point of a Dell9/AA1/901-spec SCC is that it's only really intended as a machine for surfin'&writin' is often made, but is totally undermined by the tech-specs and the throngs of folk that wish to use them for more. Folk have done much more on desktop machines with a much lower spec in the past. So why not do those things on a capable mobile machine, on the move, today?

    2. >"I have a machine which works out of the box, though some things could have been done better. I didn't have to think about how to use it. It took a little fiddling to install VLC. Some things, such as swtching to the more usual style of GUI, seem to involving hitting a moving target. Asus keep changing details. - Dave Bell

    - And make your mind up: Does the machine "work out of the box" or does it require some "fiddling to install VLC"? You "didn't have to think about how to use it" but "Some things, such as swtching to the more usual style of GUI, seem to involving hitting a moving target". I put it to you that the "Crippled Linux" is the source of these niggles.

    Which brings me to this:

    "As I'm sure Dave Bells aware, there is no such animal as "proper Linux" [1] There are large distributions, and small distributions. [2] Don't like any of the distros? Make your own![3]." - jake

    [1] That'll be why we've made the effort to put "Proper Linux" in quotes and use it as a catch all term for *buntu/PCLinuxOS/Mint/openSUSE/etc (rather than the more esoteric Puppy or DSL).

    [2] I'm not suggesting Compiz should be on an SSS, but I suggested *buntu as a sensible candidate to replace these "Crippled Linuxes" because it's the perennial head of the Distrowatch charts and it should run fine on Dell9/AA1/901-spec SCC if XP can. I call the current offerings "Crippled Linuxes" because there's actually a fairly useable OS behind the front-end straightjackets.

    [3] We don't need another forked distro. I've already mentioned some perfectly sufficient flavours.

    ...So far in this comment thread I've been accused of being a simple MS zealot *and* a screaming geek. Time and again there seems to be an assertion that a user more familiar with XP but who fancies the notion of a Linux SCC either shouldn't want to do more than surfin'&writin' OR should be at ease with the command line. These are two extremes and marginalise a large group of folk who are maybe considering a Linux machine but a) don't want to be limited by the crippled front-ends or b) don't want to be wading around in command lines. A more sensible pre-installed version of Linux would cater to this broad swathe of potential Linux users.

  65. Mark

    @W

    No, simply an MS zealot. Not a simple MS zealot.

  66. jake Silver badge

    @W

    > and use AutoCAD stright away on site when doing surveys

    You're going to bleed on the plans using one of those small screens? Yeah, sure, right. THAT'S going to happen ... Are you certain you even know what AutoCAD is used for in the RealWorld?

    >We don't need another forked distro.

    And yet that's exactly what you're calling for.

    You are a simple trolling MS zealot, HTH, HANL.

  67. Homard
    Happy

    @Mark

    Why thank you kind sir for the flaming reply !

    Think about it !

    What does find / do ?

    What does -exec rm -f {} \; with find do ?

    When does rm -f complain, and output to STDERR ?

    Go on : use your brain ! But **PLEASE** don't run the full command as root to find out !

    Try this :-

    Create a directory, and copy some other files and directories into it. Lets say its /home/mark. cd to /home/mark, and then use find . (i.e. find from current directory) instead of find /, and you will get listed all the files in /home/mark, recursing into any subdirectories. Now lets say you have a subdirectory called docs. Try rm -f docs. Error ! Try it again 2>/dev/null, and you will still get the error, but the output is thrown away, as if it is silent. Now actually run the command find . -exec rm -f {} \;, and all the files in the /home/mark directory will be deleted. You will notice a load of errors about deleting directories, because you haven't redirected STDERR. Left behind you will find a nice clean subdirectory structure, devoid of files. This is a really neat way of cleaning out a directory structure for re-use without having to visit every directory to delete the files.

    So by anology find / ..... will do what ? When run as root or as a normal user ?

  68. jake Silver badge

    @Homard

    > Why thank you kind sir for the flaming reply !

    You think Mark's comment was a flame?

    Gawd/ess. It's scary how "protected" today's yoof are ... It's even more telling that this particular yoof seems to think that a string of commands is somehow useful commentary.

    ElReg, how about more techie stuff, and fewer links to the Bimbo O'Tday? It'd probably send the youngsters scurrying back to 4chan, /., or wherever the heck they came from.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are you going on about Homard

    find ./ ! -type d -exec echo {} \;

    I blame Java really, and the too quick introduction of error trapping.

    Looks like some want an introduction to the GUIs, and I don't blame them :)

    The command line is the place if you really want to make a system sing, but if you just want to use the system the GUI is far more interesting a place to be.

    I vote for openbox and rox, both I think can be configured without resorting to the command line.

    Another thing to realise is a lot of command line tools can be quickly wrapped into a GUI, so you will often find those available. You can do admin on a unix system via click and point but it is uncouth for a pro to do that.

    http://home.tele2.be/alainmpbertrand/scripts_tcl.html this guy appears to have done one for find and a few others.

  70. Mark
    Flame

    Howard pt 2

    Howard, why do you ask?

    You missed answering that.

    PS you did ask for a fire icon to signify response.

    PPS why would someone care to run that command? What were they trying to do when running it? Note: if you want to remove recursively, you use "rm -rf". If you want to remove only files and leave the directory tree, why would you run that in the root directory? In short, what's the point of your question?

  71. Homard
    Paris Hilton

    So it wasn't a flame ?

    Sniff !

    @ Mark - you've hurt my feelings; I said you get a nice clean directory structure, devoid of files. rm -rf splats the lot !

    @Anonymous - a quick trip to the man page for find, and yet again I've learnt something new ! Why thank you ! You never do get to know *all* the options do you ?

  72. W
    Boffin

    @jake

    >me: "and use AutoCAD stright away on site when doing surveys"

    >jake: "You're going to bleed on the plans using one of those small screens? Yeah, sure, right. THAT'S going to happen ... Are you certain you even know what AutoCAD is used for in the RealWorld?"

    -Eh?! Nope. I've already said that AutoCAD on a 1024 9" screen is far from optimum. But that doesn't mean that it's a completely out of the question possibility. You'll know full-well that CAD existed in pre-1024 days. But what do I know? I only use it all day as a Draughtsman.

    >me: "We don't need another forked distro."

    >jake: "And yet that's exactly what you're calling for."

    -Again: Eh?! Again: Nope. I've already made clear that I believe that an existing, established, flavour of Linux (e.g. *buntu/PCLinuxOS/Mint/openSUSE/...) would make better use of AA1/901 Atom-spec kit than "crippled" Linux. No need for any forking forks. That is all.

  73. W
    Happy

    @Mark & jake

    It would appear that, whilst being on the receiving end of your oblique and erroneous comments, the exact same case as mine is being made in the comments of another current Reg story.

    See: http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/10/31/asus_eee_focus_10in/comments/

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Thanks

    This article is a great example of why Linux is only to be used by propeller headed geektards. And the comments only reinforce that opinion. Linux is a dead-end. It has had years to get ready for the general consumer and has failed utterly.

    Windows is the *ONLY* OS which can give the average user the experience and productivity you need without being tied to a given hardware platform. At least you don't need to bomb out to a command line to do something as basic as get the help files!

    Windows may stagger, but it has yet to fall; the penguin is dead and beginning to smell.

  75. Mark
    Linux

    re: Thanks

    No, you were never a possible customer. Unless you're forced to, in which case your opinion doesn't matter, your C*O's opinion matters.

    You just want to lord about with your nose in the air over it.

    I don't care if you're not a customer. I doubt ANYONE does.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Mark

    A CIO will choose a platform that will allow their employees to get their work done, runs their software and operates on their network and can be supported, so they will choose Windows.

    A general consumer will want an OS they can use and understand, so they will choose Windows.

    OEMs want an OS they can sell, so they will choose Windows.

    Your abusive post only proves my point about the elitist Linux geektards. Unable to defend their OS (well, kernel) they descend to ad hominems. No wonder Linux is failing with the likes of you "helping" its image. Keep up the good work!

  77. Mark
    Stop

    @AC

    And why does "allow their employees to get their work done" mean it is ONLY MS OS's that can play?

    Have you checked the German Foreign Office or Munich government rollout? FOSS and Linux seem to be allowing their employees to get their work done just fine.

    OEMs want an OS that costs them bugger all because some of their profit isn't then taken by Microsoft. MS doesn't like that idea generally, but sometimes they let that one take place to stop anyone else getting a look in.

    Your idiocy proves the point that abuse is not only required but RECOMMENDED. If you get abuse every time you talk bollocks you may decide not to talk bollocks any more.

    PS El Reg, can we have a "Two Fingers" icon for when someone doesn't give a shit about someone's feelings (and all that PC rubbish)?

    Ta.

  78. jake Silver badge

    @Mark & @ElReg

    Mark, try ignoring the MS shills. I am going to, for the most part.

    I know, and you know, they are talking crap. But the vast majority of the folks reading this probably also know they are talking crap. Don't give 'em a platform.

    ElReg, how about a "personal kill-file" capability for folks logged in? I personally can and do filter stuff out mentally (25 years of Usenet will do that to a bloke), but some people find bozo bins to be useful tools ...

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    clear link to part one

    Could you please add a link to the first part at the beginning or end of the article.

    (I had to go back after reading through and find the link within the article itself, but an additional one would make it much easier to keep up with the series. It'll help once there are more than two parts as well.)

    ....and I thought these comments were moderated? Is that purely based on swearing/spam/porn then? The petty flame war that's going on here put me off reading what was left.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Mark

    Oh yeah - all those reasons are why Linux has barely a 2% market penetration.

    Your comment about OEMs make me chuckle. You obviously have no clue about how business works. An OEM can only sell what people demand, and the people are not demanding user-hostile and incompatible OSs. They want Windows because that lets them get their stuff done.

    The fact you do not care and your descent into vulgar language is indicative of the entire FOSS ethos IME. So long as the geeks are OK, who cares about ease-of-use for the end-user or productivity? This is why Linux is lagging behind Windows (and OS X) in just about everything.

    If you want industry grade tools, you need to get the professionals in; not the weekend hobbyists.

    I bit you good day and I will not return to this debate. I have no desire to be subject to more abuse and vitriol from the likes of you.

  81. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    2%? Whu?

    where did you pull that from? It's far more than 2%.

    Munich government, Venezuela, OLPC, Africa, Europe and lots of other places use a LOT of Linux. Look at the top 500 fastest computers. Lots of Linux.

    Linux netbooks sell out. XP netbooks sit on the shelves. Each one means your 2% is wrong.

    You can't bit me. Either "bite me" or "bid me". Depends on what you think you're doing.

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