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grantm (164)

grantm
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http://www.mclean.net.nz/

Just a simple [cpan.org] guy, hacking Perl for fun and profit since way back in the last millenium. You may find me hanging around in the monestary [perlmonks.org].

What am I working on right now? Probably the Sprog project [sourceforge.net].

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Journal of grantm (164)

Tuesday October 11, 2005
05:12 AM

Windows Support

[ #27112 ]

I normally use Debian at home and at work but I had to do a bit of system support on my wife's WinXP box the other day. The problem was that the Norton Antivirus subscription had expired. Last time it happened, I renewed the subscription at great trouble (very bad web site) and expense. This time I removed NAV and installed AVG Free.

This operation took approximately an hour. I had to remove three Norton components which required much pointing and clicking; three reboots; and extensive waits after reboots while the deinstallation was silently proceeding in the background.

I repeatedly read that Linux needs to solve the software packaging/installation/removal problem before it can compete with Windows. As far as I'm concerned Debian solved those problems years ago and if you really want point-and-click, the Synaptic package manager GUI is light years ahead of anything I've seen on Windows. The equivalent operation on Debian would have taken under two minutes including download time.

The AVG installation wizard included a registration step. The alleged advantages of registration are "full access to the AVG Free discussion forum ... in read-only mode" and the ability to "receive information about AVG Free product family". Great, a discussion 'forum' where I can't post and side order of spam. I skipped that step.

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  • Perhaps Microsoft Windows Vista will be ready for the desktop?

    I know that Linux isn't perfect, but I'm constantly amazed by Windows users telling me that they'd switch to Linux but it's not ready for the desktop yet. From my standpoint as a Debian user, Windows XP is a long way behind where Debian is now. I'm not even comparing Windows XP to a desktop tailored *nix like Ubuntu or Mac OSX.

    --
    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
    • I switched from WinXP to Ubuntu a couple of months ago and I'm absolutely happy with it on the packaging front. It's just network-config, power management, multimedia and other hardware configuration niggles that I think it's not "ready" to compete with Windows on. (But hopefully Breezy will change much of this).
      --

      osfameron

      • Each has their own experience. Networking is certainly better on Linux than Windows in my experience, but I use wires not wireless kit. I don't run on batteries so I have no idea about power, and so far I've had more luck with multimedia on stock Debian than Windows.

        Normally I've had less problems with Linux with regards hardware than Windows. I know people that have had more or less problems with hardware, so I do expect that varies and I'm willing to believe that notebooks are worse than desktops.

        Cons

        --
        -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
        • On the subject of networking, I recently set up a wireless network at home. I installed a Level One WPC-0301 [level1.com] PC card in my laptop. The installation was a breeze due to the chipset manufacturer having released GPL'd driver code and the rt2x00 project [serialmonkey.com] making good things better.

          The ironic thing is that I can't get the card to work at all under Windows (unless I turn off WPA-TKIP on the wireless router).

          • I think this sums it up. For every story of someone saying Linux isn't ready for the desktop and it's hardware support is poor, there is a corresponding story from someone saying that their system worked perfectly first time in Linux but they couldn't get Windows XP to work.

            Hardware on PCs is just hard for everyone. On a single vendor system like IBM AIX, Sun Sparc or Apple Mac where there is a tiny range of possible hardware and software combinations it's relativly easy to make it all work perfectly.

            --
            -- "It's not magic, it's work..."