An official slightly off topic anouncement

Gene Collins collins at
Fri Feb 23 10:31:52 EST 2007

/so why do we care?  You wanna support Bill, then who are we to argue? 
On the other hand, you could install Ubuntu, and go for the gnome
desktop environment and not pay the Freedom Scientific folks an arm and
a leg.  You're right, Linux is a steeper learning curve, but in the end,
it makes you a more knowledgeable and powerful computer user.  Some
folks like myself have to support Windows , because that is what the
University runs on, but give me a choice, and Linux wins hands down.

For some folks, a gui interface is the way to go, but I started out in
CP/m and DOS, so I'm a command line junkie at heart.  Even the editor I
use, MicroEmacs is very much like the Mince editor I first used under
CP/m.  So pick what suits you and pay for it, or not, as the case may
be.  Linux kind of separates the men from the boys so to speak.  It
demands more of it's users, it gives much more in return.


>From: "Gregory Nowak" <greg at>
>> on this list, are
>> anti-microsoft. After all, having been a user of windblows, and
>> gnu/linux for a few years now, I can't honestly say that I think
>> people are switching from windblows to gnu/linux, because gnu/linux is
>> easier to use than windows is.
>I made this same point on the blinux list a while ago and sparked quite a 
>controversy. I believe anyone getting into linux should prepare themselves 
>for a steep learning curve. But it pays off in the end. In fact, I've  been 
>advising my blind computer nerd friends to get into linux as a form of job 
>> For anybody else who has used both
>> operating systems for a good while, and is tempted to disagree with
>> that, think back on your first time compiling a customized linux
>> kernel, or on the steps one has to go through to build a piece of
>> software from source , or better yet, on how involved building a
>> gentoo, or a linux-from-scratch system is.
>Yeah, but you can't compile a custom kernel at all for Windows. Mostly, you 
>can't compile software either. You get what you get.
>So this is really the #1 difference between linux and Windows.  In linux, 
>you can do just about anything you can do with a computer but you're 
>expected to learn how. With Windows, the ideal situation is for you to never 
>have to read the documentation. Windows users want to just install and go. 
>With linux, we give up intuitiveness for being able to make the thing do 
>exactly what we want.
>Actually, I think the combination of both works really well. I use Windows 
>as my desktop environment. But i do all my actual work on linux. For 
>example, I have this elaborate system for recording the sound track of TV 
>shows. I have a script that checks the schedule of my local PBS affiliate 
>searching for my favorite shows, Nova, American Experience, etc. If it finds 
>them, it writes the show and time it will be on to a file. Then there is a 
>cron job that runs sox to record each show . I then listen to them on my 
>Windows machine by double clicking on them on my network drive.
>Here at the Math Department of the U of Wisconsin, we have dhcp, dns, 
>ldaphttp mysql,  , and imap servers all running on linux.  I manage all 
>these things via my Windows desktop.
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