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Last post Author Topic: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux  (Read 3891 times)

xtabber

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Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« on: January 06, 2016, 09:32:03 AM »
Journalist Dan Gilmor, one of the earliest bloggers and a long-time voice of reason in Silicon Valley, has a new post discussing why and how he moved to Linux. Nothing new or earth shaking, but a sensible and useful article for anyone trying to make the case for switching to FOSS.

rgdot

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 01:26:02 PM »
Started reading it, before I finish I want to say that I hope the article doesn't say 'GIMP is as good as photoshop' or 'Libre Office is as good as Office', I know almost 100% of Linux users will always object or flame such a statement but those two are not as good (just generally, not about missing thing here or there), sorry they are just not.
I have been ~90% on Linux the last two years and believe me they are not. If the article includes those two statements I will be forced to dismiss it  :P

MilesAhead

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 01:53:26 PM »
Started reading it, before I finish I want to say that I hope the article doesn't say 'GIMP is as good as photoshop' or 'Libre Office is as good as Office', I know almost 100% of Linux users will always object or flame such a statement but those two are not as good (just generally, not about missing thing here or there), sorry they are just not.
I have been ~90% on Linux the last two years and believe me they are not. If the article includes those two statements I will be forced to dismiss it  :P

I think I spent the most time on Linux without constantly booting into Windows when I had Mandrake 9.1 and kylix installed.  I did  a few small programs in kylix to try it out.  But the main benefit was a general text editor with Windows style key bindings.  Such a relief.  Although if I was forced to use vi I could do it.  I could see it was very powerful.  Just no fun eating the learning curve.  :)

I did try Gimp for Windows in a cursory fashion.  It is quite different going about the tasks than any Windows graphics editor.  I didn't absorb the learning curve or use PS enough to come to any opinion.  I think I tried PS for a few days one day.  :)

Edvard

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 07:55:01 PM »
Started reading it, before I finish I want to say that I hope the article doesn't say 'GIMP is as good as photoshop' or 'Libre Office is as good as Office', I know almost 100% of Linux users will always object or flame such a statement but those two are not as good (just generally, not about missing thing here or there), sorry they are just not.
I have been ~90% on Linux the last two years and believe me they are not. If the article includes those two statements I will be forced to dismiss it  :P

I can say two things about that:
While I agree Gimp is overall less powerful in some categories, I also find it doesn't fight against me like Photoshop does.  I can do amazing things (to me, at least) in Gimp, while I can barely use Photoshop as a glorified MSPaint.  I suppose if I found a good book or reference on Photoshop, things might turn around.  On another note I also have a BIG problem with people who say you can't use Gimp to do professional work.  >:(
Regarding Libre/OpenOffice, I must say I fully agree.  I use MS Office at work; I loathe Word, love Publisher, on the fence about PowerPoint, awed by all the things I don't know but probably can do in Excel, and at least in our facility, if you're not using Outlook for email, the rest of the office will think you're some reptile alien from another dimension.  I almost never use LibreOffice, unless it's to import a PDF into Writer (which it's surprisingly good at most days), but otherwise, LibreOffice's programs are just downright generic compared to MS Office.  And there's no application to compare to Publisher. Period.  Well, maybe Scribus, but until it has automatic N-up layout functions, I will still prefer Publisher.

sword

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 01:25:59 PM »
I hope the article doesn't say 'GIMP is as good as photoshop' or 'Libre Office is as good as Office',
I liked photoshop but have an early edition. For what I do, Krita is best. I like Publisher but it can't
hold a candle to WordPerfect, not just on power but also on ease of use and reliability.

40hz

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 02:37:05 PM »
I think most people like to kid themselves about just how much they need from their software and operating system - as well as how much of those huge feature sets they actually use. And I find that true for Windows, OSX and even Linux.

From where I sit and from what I've seen (and after all these years in IT and tech support, I've seen plenty!) most users are nowhere near as "expert," "saavy," or "power user" as they like to pretend. Most of what passes for "expertise" on the desktop user level is little more than having a large collection of tips & tricks gleaned from reading various blogs and magazine articles. It's like a big bag of pretty beads without a string holding them together.

Transitioning to Linux is no big deal. It works well. And NIX, along with the standard productivity apps it supports, fits 95% of all use cases for 99% of all PC users. If it didn't, it wouldn't get used anywhere near as much as it does.

Some random thoughts on apps:

As far as Photoshop goes, it's a very capable graphics app. GIMP is not the same as Photoshop. There are many functional and feature similarities between the two. But the target users and design philosophy driving each of them are very different. So it's hardly surprising one size doesn't fit all when it comes to that category of app. As a pure paint program I always though PaintShop Pro versions 6 and 7 were far better and more focused than the bloated Swiss Army knife Photoshop increasingly came to resemble - if you wanted a paint program. As did a lot of designers I knew who often started a project in something like PaintShop Pro and later moved their files over to Photoshop when they needed a feature only that could provide to "finish up" - or if they were doing final prep for traditional press printing. But this is old news to anybody who actually does this stuff professionally. And FWIW, if you really need Photoshop - and you're running nothing but Linux (and god only knows why if you heavily rely on Photoshop for your work)  - you can always set it up in a VM, where it runs just fine as long as you have a capable CPU and sufficient RAM. ANd a lot of RAM and a powerful chip is something you should have in order to effectively run Photoshop natively anyway. Because that app is a resource gobbler if there ever was one. That sort of power always comes at a price where system resources are concerned.

Word vs Writer is largely a tempest in a teapot. If you need full MS Office integration (and in a corporate job environment you very likely might) then Office is your oyster. If you don't Writer will do you just fine. If you do a lot of writing, or do it professionally, you probably have already changed your work flow and use a so-called distraction-free writing environment to do your early drafts anyway. That trick works so well that Microsoft eventually incorporated its own "full screen viewing" with a minimal toolbar setting starting with Word 2010/2011. So for straight ahead wordsmithing, either app should work equally well for you. If you want full suite integration (i.e. pulling charts and tables in from other apps in the suite, data sharing, etc.) MS Office holds the edge. And for the price being charged for it, it damn well better AFAIC.

Outlook is an interesting app. If it's wedded to an MS Exchange back-end (as it's intended to be), there's very little it can't do. If you don't need enterprise features - or have to integrate and coordinate your communications and schedule with several dozen team members or coworkers - it's utter overkill. It's a nice PM to be sure. But few people need that degree of organization to do their work or live their lives. If you are one of those people however, by all means use Outlook. It'll do you proud. But if you're more an ordinary civilian type, there are lots of other capable and simpler alternatives you could just as easily use.

I really dislike Publisher. Same goes for PowerPoint. The reasons are personal and philosophical and not worth going into in the context of this thread. So all I'll say about those two apps (along with their Libre counterparts) is: If you like 'em - use 'em.

Excel has carved out a rather unique niche for itself. In many respects deserved. IMO it's the finest product in Microsoft's catalog, even if I do think they barfed it up royally with that ribbon bar. It's also important to accept that Excel has become the de facto standard for this category of software. So if you're sharing (or expecting to someday share) spreadsheets with other spreadsheet users (who are using Excel) - do yourself and them a big favor and just use Excel. You can run it in a VM. But I think it's just easier to keep a Windows machine on hand if you're a big Excel (or MS Office for that matter) user. Hardware is cheap enough these days. And having two PCs on your desk isn't that uncommon anymore. FWIW, Excel is the one and only reason I'll probably always have a Windows laptop somewhere in my house, no matter what.

Maybe I'm not happy about that since I transitioned over to Linux for my own uses quite a while ago. And I really dislike the direction and future Microsoft is steering it's users towards. But that's not a battle I'm willing to get dragged into as long as I have an alternative. And I do. So to me it's one of those "Render unto Caesar" things. And hardly something worth getting into a tizzy over. I just occasionally flick a small coin or two into Microsoft's tax coffers, smile my most insincere smile at the two suspiciously frowning legionnaires who are standing nearby, and go on my merry way.

Life is too short to get into battles over software choices. Or at least so I think. YMMV. ;)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 03:11:30 PM by 40hz »

Tuxman

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2016, 03:08:20 PM »
Journalist Dan Gilmor (...) moved to Linux.

Wow! Now that's hella interesting stuff! Are the movie rights for this very discussion-worthy story sold yet?

...

"I moved to Linux" is the new "I am a vegan", huh?

MilesAhead

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2016, 07:31:16 PM »
Journalist Dan Gilmor (...) moved to Linux.

Wow! Now that's hella interesting stuff! Are the movie rights for this very discussion-worthy story sold yet?

...

"I moved to Linux" is the new "I am a vegan", huh?

Hmm, you think it could be another Hunter S. Thompson in the making?  :D

40hz

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2016, 10:21:26 PM »
Journalist Dan Gilmor (...) moved to Linux.

Wow! Now that's hella interesting stuff! Are the movie rights for this very discussion-worthy story sold yet?

...

"I moved to Linux" is the new "I am a vegan", huh?

Hmm, you think it could be another Hunter S. Thompson in the making?  :D


@Miles: Could be. Trash talkin' is soooooo 70s. And it's so "been done" that it's about due for a revival right about now don't you think?  ;)

MilesAhead

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2016, 07:29:28 AM »
Journalist Dan Gilmor (...) moved to Linux.

Wow! Now that's hella interesting stuff! Are the movie rights for this very discussion-worthy story sold yet?

...

"I moved to Linux" is the new "I am a vegan", huh?

Hmm, you think it could be another Hunter S. Thompson in the making?  :D


@Miles: Could be. Trash talkin' is soooooo 70s. And it's so "been done" that it's about due for a revival right about now don't you think?  ;)

Sounds cool.  Beats watching hackers type fast into an off the shelf Laptop to hack into the Pentagon.  A blog as output seems a lot safer.  :)

dr_andus

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2016, 11:50:13 AM »
Word vs Writer is largely a tempest in a teapot. If you need full MS Office integration (and in a corporate job environment you very likely might) then Office is your oyster. If you don't Writer will do you just fine. If you do a lot of writing, or do it professionally, you probably have already changed your work flow and use a so-called distraction-free writing environment to do your early drafts anyway. That trick works so well that Microsoft eventually incorporated its own "full screen viewing" with a minimal toolbar setting starting with Word 2010/2011. So for straight ahead wordsmithing, either app should work equally well for you. If you want full suite integration (i.e. pulling charts and tables in from other apps in the suite, data sharing, etc.) MS Office holds the edge. And for the price being charged for it, it damn well better AFAIC.

Indeed. I do my writing in distraction-free software (WriteMonkey, SmartDown), but it's others that are forcing me to use Word, such as university administrators who design terrible forms and templates in Word for others to fill in and email around, and publishing companies that demand that manuscripts are uploaded as Word documents.

In both cases there is no logical need for MS Word, in fact it's the wrong tool for the job, but that is what those people learnt how to use (often quite badly), and then those 'skills' and tools are enforced upon everyone else in the organisation, especially as higher management don't have to use those tools on a daily basis and so they don't understand how these legacy software might be constraining productivity.

Innuendo

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2016, 09:55:36 AM »
40hz, that's a very well-written response to the topic & very logical. Unfortunately, people are not logical creatures. Once you take away all the people who are actually interested in technology for technology's sake, a person's tendency towards using an OS is going to really boil down to inertia. The only questions they really ask themselves are "What do we use at work?", "What do my friends use?", and "Which choice will yield me the most people I can ask when I can't figure something out?"

What they need and what's usable really doesn't factor into the decision process. Articles like the one in the OP with the theme of person with small amount of notoriety made the switch to <product/OS> and here's what happened either falls on ears (eyes?) that don't care either do to reasons I've listed above or they don't care because they are actually tech-savvy enough to do their own research rather than spend time listening to a talking head who is getting paid for his words and therefore his level of objectivity is unknown.

40hz

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2016, 04:38:38 PM »
40hz, that's a very well-written response to the topic & very logical. Unfortunately, people are not logical creatures. Once you take away all the people who are actually interested in technology for technology's sake, a person's tendency towards using an OS is going to really boil down to inertia.

I will certainly agree with you on those points. Probably the only reason I did my earlier brain-dump is because I'm so tired of all the faux controversy surrounding the whole "I use Windows"/"I use Linux" argument. But I take comfort in the fact that most of the bickering has mercifully dropped off a great deal in the last few years. Mainly because it's now obvious it's pointless. They've both attained parity by any reasonable measure you'd care to apply. So to a very real extent it doesn't much matter at all what bloody OS or app suite you use. The only difficulty comes in when you're discussing standards. And as one person pointed out (I forget who) the one really good thing about 'standards' is we get so many to choose from.

IMO, about the only real dividing issue for what OS you choose is which games you want to play.

Beyond that, I think it's pretty much moot from a functional and practical viewpoint. All that's left is the political considerations. That, and the inexorable gravity well of user inertia you spoke of previously.

Innuendo

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2016, 11:02:23 AM »
I will certainly agree with you on those points. Probably the only reason I did my earlier brain-dump is because I'm so tired of all the faux controversy surrounding the whole "I use Windows"/"I use Linux" argument. But I take comfort in the fact that most of the bickering has mercifully dropped off a great deal in the last few years.

As a Windows user, I'm very uncomfortable saying this, but I feel that most of the animosity that has existed between Windows & Linux users has been that ultra-vocal, extremist faction of Linux users who beat the drum for decades saying that only idiots would use closed-source software because open-source software would never have back-doors, vulnerabilities, etc.

The whole OS flame-war went quiet when it came out that Heartbleed, etc. affected Linux just as much as it affected Windows. Thankfully, that news sent that group back under the rocks from whence they came. A group is often judged by the behavior of its most visible and vocal members so the Linux community is better off without them anyway.

Quote
IMO, about the only real dividing issue for what OS you choose is which games you want to play.

Loving Fallout 4 right now...not sure if that's playable on Linux or not. I haven't kept up on Gabe Newell's crusade to bring Steam to Linux. I hope he succeeds. It'll be one less thing for people to b!tch about.

rgdot

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2016, 11:35:40 AM »
Well the delivery of malware is by and large a Linux issue, now of course the user executes it on his/her local Windows machine but still.

40hz

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2016, 02:59:51 PM »
@Innuendo

Steam for Linux has been available for quite awhile now. But just because Steam is available doesn't mean everything has been ported over to run on Linux by the authors of the software.

Re: the flame war

What set off the OS flame war was Steve Ballmer calling Linux un-American, anti-business, and the equivalent of malware in response to its own user's complaints about the numerous performance and technical issues that plagued Windows 8.

When Linux began to be seen as a viable alternative by many in the tech community, Microsoft responded with a full court smear campaign that was heavy on FUD and short on substance.  They also threatened legal action for a variety of nonsensical reasons - and pushed for government intervention in halting the "threat" that Linux and FOSS posed to the community at large.

Any explosive responses from the Linux community were in direct response to that rather than simple snark since Microsoft made no bones about their intent to either co-opt Linux and GNU, or litigate /legislate it out of existence by any means necessary.

The Linux camp has always argued for peaceful coexistence. Microsoft has always refused to do anything to facilitate that happening in a meaningful and practical manner - despite their repeated token assurances that their intentions are nothing like what their actions indicate their goal truly is.

If the Nix community sees fit to call bullshit on Microsoft, and publicly question the intelligence of those Windows users who continue to make excuses for Microsoft, about all I can suggest is some Windows users learn to grow a thicker skin. Lord knows the Linux community has been forced to do just that in the wake of Microsoft's unilateral declaration of war - and the ongoing disinformation campaign that continues to be conducted against it by the corporation and its shills in the tech press.

Linux is easy to use by anyone with enough intelligence to use Windows or any other OS. If people choose not to see or believe that, then so be it.
 :)


40hz

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2016, 03:05:32 PM »
Well the delivery of malware is by and large a Linux issue, now of course the user executes it on his/her local Windows machine but still.

How so?

Tuxman

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2016, 03:12:02 PM »
The funny thing is that we from "the Nix community" (not "Nux"...) never make similar experiences. Must be you.

rgdot

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2016, 03:13:14 PM »
Well the delivery of malware is by and large a Linux issue, now of course the user executes it on his/her local Windows machine but still.

How so?

How many percent of infected sites that spread malware are on Linux servers? Not far from 100%.

wraith808

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2016, 02:31:11 PM »
@Innuendo

Steam for Linux has been available for quite awhile now. But just because Steam is available doesn't mean everything has been ported over to run on Linux by the authors of the software.

Steam being on Linux means next to nothing without the games being there as it's only a distribution platform, and Gabe Newell knows this, and as such, is championing that effort.  I could be wrong, but I think that's what Innuendo was referring to- especially since he brought up Fallout 4 which is noticeably not on Linux.

https://www.reddit.c...t_4_any_hope_for_us/

The fight doesn't stop with the distribution platform being there.  Gabe Newell still fights behind the scenes to bring parity.  But it's a hard fight.

40hz

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2016, 01:36:03 PM »
The funny thing is that we from "the Nix community" (not "Nux"...) never make similar experiences. Must be you.

Yet another "in character" comeback from DC's one and only Tuxman.

P.S. Nice to know you speak for the entire "Nix not Nux" community. I like that royal "we."

I must have missed the memo announcing your recent elevation. My bad.  ;)

40hz

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2016, 01:40:36 PM »
@Innuendo

Steam for Linux has been available for quite awhile now. But just because Steam is available doesn't mean everything has been ported over to run on Linux by the authors of the software.

Steam being on Linux means next to nothing without the games being there as it's only a distribution platform, and Gabe Newell knows this, and as such, is championing that effort.  I could be wrong, but I think that's what Innuendo was referring to- especially since he brought up Fallout 4 which is noticeably not on Linux.

https://www.reddit.c...t_4_any_hope_for_us/

The fight doesn't stop with the distribution platform being there.  Gabe Newell still fights behind the scenes to bring parity.  But it's a hard fight.


More like a losing battle IMO. With development costs being what they are today, I can't see too many programming shops that would be willing to spend that sort of money rolling their wares out to run native on Linux, even if they could. The industry leader always creates a gravity well it's difficult to escape from.

Tuxman

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2016, 01:48:31 PM »
I must have missed the memo announcing your recent elevation. My bad.  ;)

As here on DC people are speaking of a homogenous "the community" instead of "individuals", I take the opportunity to speak as a part of that community too. If this feels wrong to you, I'm still the wrong addressee.

40hz

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2016, 01:51:42 PM »
I must have missed the memo announcing your recent elevation. My bad.  ;)

As here on DC people are speaking of a homogenous "the community" instead of "individuals", I take the opportunity to speak as a part of that community too. If this feels wrong to you, I'm still the wrong addressee.


You lost me with that one. But I'm sure it was something really clever you just said. Cheers!

Tuxman

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Re: Dan Gilmor on moving to Linux
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2016, 01:53:21 PM »
Your ability to understand my comebacks is among the very few things I would never believe in.