My response to Bigpaws is that Linux gives you a *choice*. You can run a command-line based system if that's your desire. But you can have choice in graphical interfaces from barebones to extravagent eye candy.
Of course, that is true. Linux can work on almost every system. Perhaps the documentation is hard to find, but if you want to run it in a 286, it can.
The fact is the vast majority of computer users don't want to use command-line tools. Whether we approve or disapprove, that's the way it is. Should Linux conform to a geeks' idea of purity and say to the rest of the world, "take it or leave it"? Or should Linux accommodate the desktop marketplace?
I guess the answer is both. There is a distro for everyone, from ubuntu to slackware or lfs.
However much one may long for the days of tight code (enforced by the severe limitations of hardware of the time), the fact is that today the hardware can accommodate just about anything a programmer can throw at it. So complaints about needing too much disk space or too much RAM or too much CPU power are looking backward to a state that no longer exists. Whether the OS is Windows, Mac, or Linux, it'll try to take advantage of hardware advances--and it should.
Yes, but sometimes looks like the opposite. We have to upgrade our hardware if we want to run vista, but nobody is saying, "oh, my system is not using all his power, lets try vista on it." The question is, what is vista doing better than others (including XP), what do you get after the upgrade of the hardware and the new license?
us$ 1000 for surfing the web? Vista has nothing new! Just the interface. The new resources are wasted just in the desktop, the wallpaper, the clock, the weather applet, etc.
Where is the revolution, where is the new technology? where is the true innovation? We have nothing since years. Just multimedia, we can play, we can record, we can see... More of the same, the same principle again and again, but not really an improvement. Wireless, multimedia, portable sys, that technology is available since years, now they have a market, not true improvement there.
I agree the internet and the availability of the newer tech and hi end stuff to the masses are a step forward. But we are doing nothing with that. The hardware is ten times faster, the desktop had been not suffered the same improvement, by far.
As for criticism of Vista, a lot of it is geek chic. Some of the critics have never used it or had already made up their minds that they hated it before they ever saw it.
That is an assumption, I used and I use Vista, and for me had been the same with a new look, and now it has more annoying things (you can disable them, I know), and better ways to control the piracy, the improvements are all in the ms side.
I have Vista on my laptop. That's how it came and I don't regret it. It's not slow, all of my hardware works going all the way back to a 1993 printer, most of my programs work including a few Win 3.1 programs, a couple of DOS programs, and all of my recent programs. But I do know how to manage a computer so it's safe and performs well. Many people don't. If they want to learn how, they can. If they don't, they're stuck with the consequences. I use Linux far more than I use Windows, but I don't toss my cookies when I do use Windows.
The argument against MS is more than that, surely you can use Vista or whatever, and every member on this forum could use it with some satisfaction, because they are good with computers. I can use it, works for me, I had no trouble with it, I can ply direct x 10 games, I ,I. There is a big world outside. Consider the money spent in the hole world in new hardware, consider the money spent in new licenses, the resources taken from the nature, the extra power this hard needs, there is a lot of things to think about. And a lot of factors are working here.
Vista is not something you put on an old computer, even one that's a couple of years old. So what? Who says you *must* upgrade, like it or not? Eventually we get to that place, but it'll be years before we're there (XP will be supported until 2014, I think).
Time is not a factor here, no matter when. As I said, there is lot of things to keep in mind. Ms has some mechanisms to push into Vista. Of course, nobody says you *must* upgrade, but the world actually works in a more complex way. Is not true we do what we want and just if we want, for example, I am a windows user, I had to work with it. And if we have to propose a Linux migration in, lets say, a school, we'll have to deal wit a lot of misconceptions and pre-judgments (is that an english word?). I am saying, the people we have to convince has not the concepts and tools to think in Linux as a possibility. And they didn't choose to think like that, and nobody else make the decision by them neither, we just think with the tools we have. But MS has a position in the power structure, so they can choose, and they choose wrong.
I want to see Linux increase its market share among everyday users. We won't get there by being minimalist. Yes, there's a place for minimalist distros. But let's not look askance at the non-minimalist distros. Linux is about choice.
Of course, we want to see Linux to increase its market share, but we want to change linux to certain point only to reach that goal. How much linux should change and what not is not a clear subject.
Sorry about the long post, you know I like this kind of debate