The Unreasonable Stance: All About Linux 2008 edition: Linux sucks

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All About Linux 2008: An interview with Gerry Carr of Ubuntu

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Welcome to the Unreasonable Stance, where our own Devin Coldewey takes the minority opinion on a tech matter and defends it with convenient data, spun numbers, fanboyism, and insults until he proves, without a doubt, that those that disagree with him are filthy mouth-breathers.

Why are we having a whole week dedicated to this runty OS? You’d think this ridiculous open-source movement was supposed to be the future of computing. Well, it’s time someone took a stand and let the world know what everyone is afraid of saying: Linux sucks. It sucks bad.

I can’t think of a single reason to prefer this motley conglomeration of oddly-named, half-functional applications over an established, warrantee-backed, proven and solid operating system like Windows XP, or Vista.

Let’s be fair, though, and check out the reasons people like these various Linuxes. Surely one of the big draws has to be how free they and their software are. Great! Of course, you can pick up XP for a song these days, or why not Windows 98SE or ME? They work just fine and I see ‘em in bargain bins all the time. Money saved by switching to Linux: $2.99! And the software? True, Photoshop costs hundreds of dollars. But you’re almost certainly going to be getting that cost covered by work, because you don’t really need Photoshop for day-to-day stuff. That’s what Paint is for. And even if you do need to use it at home, you’re probably rich enough to afford it.

linuxstartmenu.pngOh, but the wealth of programs available for Linux-based systems! So they say, but how many of them are MIDI composers with command-line interfaces? That wipes out about 40% of the apps available right there, and what about text editors — they make up a solid third of the library right there. The list of everyday, usable applications is no longer than Windows’, and even then there’s the issue of installing them. Nobody wants to spend all their time compiling things or work out exactly which libraries and repositories they need to have access to. Are you crazy? Here’s how it works: go to download.com, type in “cd burner program,” and get whatever’s got the editor’s choice award because those guys know their stuff. Or, failing that, I’ve heard there’s a bay somewhere that has lots of software just floating around.

The whole open source thing bugs me, too. These people are hocking their shady programs, probably built up lego-style from stolen Windows code, and hoping someone will download it and show it to Google or Facebook developers so they can get a job. And if not, there’s always that “donate” button. How can people be so greedy?

Linux sucks for games. What have you got available to Linux systems? Oh, Tux Racer. And don’t forget about America’s Army! Of course, there’s that program Wine, but first there’s the whole hassle of getting it configured right, and then you have to ask yourself, “Did I spend $300 on a new Radeon so I could emulate the latest games?” The answer, my friend, is no. And that’s okay.

So configurable! All those options, right out there in the open. All you have to do is “sudo rub-tummy-pat-head ramalamadingdong -j -5 -343 +$^^ (gno)” and you’re set. The console is straightforward and powerful. Don’t you just love it when this is the interface for your OS:
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I hear a lot of servers are switching over to Linux, whatever that means. Whatever helps you sleep at night, guys. I personally would sleep better knowing an enormous corporation is standing behind each one of my boxes like a guardian angel, ready to help me out with well-trained staff in call centers throughout India. As for requests per second and all that technical stuff, I’m going to make an educated guess that that’s mainly to do with the hardware and what’s running on it just changes the error message when it fails.

I wouldn’t recommend Linux to my worst enemy. And as you can imagine I don’t like that guy very much. It’s a jumbled mess of heterogeneous, larval-stage software and overspecialized toys for coders, and there’s less fun to be had on it than OS X. Why do people use it? For the same reason people grow mustaches: chicks dig it.

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