2005/Sep/28

Original Article: 10 Days as a Windows XP User: A GNU Perspective on Things.

I found this to be an interesting read enough though I don't really think the author has the authority to put the A GNU Perspective in the name. The first part alone should do just fine. Anyway, that's not my problem.

I don't really think most things he wrote should taken seriously either.

The article ends with a very big conclusion:
"I do not consider Windows ready for the desktop. I found it difficult to use, buggy and lacking in security. I also found technical support lacking. While Windows captured a significant portion of the desktop market, the product is clearly not a good fit for consumers who do not understand the risks associated with logging on to the Internet. The costs of providing aftermarket products can run higher than the price paid for the hardware."
Before I comment on it further on the story. I would like to say that while this article isn't that bad; it ain't anywhere good in anyway. It is a rather overly biased critism on Windows, like many articles done before by Linux users and Linux zealots.

I do have another side of story.

I started using Computer in MS-DOS, before Windows 3.1. I had been using Microsoft's operating systems only (later DOS, Windows 3.x, 95, .... ) since then. Until 1999 when I entered College of Information Sciences (Computer Scince) at University of Tsukuba, Japan where all computers were SGI O2 with IRIX (can't remember version number) installed.

Culture shock. Even more than my first weeks in Japan (1998). But after that and a few GNU/Linux distributions tried, like some and dislike some, on my computers, I become more and more familiar with them (Linux, BSD, and UNIX).

I had been using mostly just Linux until I switched to Mac because of Mac OS X in 2003. Currently I still have Ubuntu Linux (PPC) installed on my PowerBook.

Recently I have to use Windows more, just to get along with the rest of people around me, and solve problems they have. I found myself a bit more clumsy on this. I can't find and can't configure something that would be really simple and obvious to me on Linux and OS X. So what? An experienced Windows power users would be just the reverse case.

So let me generalize this a bit. After you had been living in one world for so long. Things in that world would make all senses to you; everything little thing of it. Its physics, laws, cultures, everything. However, once you change, switch, whatever, you will face a culture shock. If the two worlds share something in common (like Linux and BSD) you will have less problems than if they are entirely apart.

Windows might not be ready for desktop, neither does any distribution of Linux nor even the mighty Mac OS X. Windows has its own problems of programs compatibility and security, and many others. Linux and Mac have other problems too. The main source of problems for everything is attitude and social engineering.

Getting too long. Will stop this post now :-)

One more thing: He did say in the article
"My advice to PC enthusiasts would be to try Linux."
I don't think it's a good one. I would advice people to seek knowledge on how to make themselves safe and how to fix things when certain simple things go wrong, and how to seek the knowledge itself (google, web-forum etc), including to keep the head cool and think logically about the problem; don't get panic.

Sadly ... it just won't work for most people. To quote myself from my previous blog entry:
I make a simple relation with my statement above by this: most of the time, conceptual understanding is confused with tool-mastering (or simply using it). Example: being able to use Visual C#.NET doesn't and never imply understanding and mastering software engineering, software design, and lots lots more. There are people who still love and prefer listening things off the CDs. I hope that... in this country, in this university where I am teaching ... would be people who prefer the conceptual equivalent when studying.
Read the entire thing at: Quality? Who Cares?
edit @ 2005/09/28 13:58:49