How The Gates (Almost) Stole Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Blue screens were everywhere; no response from the mouse
Windows, it seems, had decided to die
Because it had updated; we didn’t know why
But Santa had a plan while we were all in bed
He reformatted our server and installed Linux instead
In the morning we rushed in and what did we see?
Programs were running, and most of them free!
There was Chrome and Open Office and emacs for me
Not a penny was going to Mr. Gates’ fee
Now we have no more blue screens, ever, of course
Because Santa turned us on to that sweet open source

150 thoughts on “How The Gates (Almost) Stole Christmas

      1. I use W10 every day at work and I still use W7 every day at home. Can’t even remember the last time I saw a BSOD, it will have been many, many years ago. And I ask a hell of a lot of my computers

    1. blue screens are caused by crappy drivers, bad oc configurations and unwiggled memory. they are rare on systems where the user knows wtf they are doing. so wiggle your ram, fix your oc and update your drivers.

      if you are going to pick on ms for something, pick on them for being part of the data miner coalition that secretly runs the planet.

          1. No. The Linux fans think that just because the kernel won’t panic over corrupted memory, everything is fine.

            Sure, your software may be crashing inexplicably, but that’s userland problems…

          2. To be precise, Linux has a badram mechanism, where you can disable known faulty regions of ram. Saved my bacon back in the old days. As a temporary bandaid before you get a new ram – works like a charm. Especially on laptops where ram is soldered onto the pcb.

    2. You know, “for free” is still too expensive for some in this regard. ;)
      Some people would gladly pay for a proper OS that treats the user with respect and dignity.

      Thst being said.. Merry Christmas anyone and please try to stay healthy. 🎄

      1. Free is not free. it never was and will never be.

        Freedom is not free of cost, it never was and will never be.

        It is true that money can’t buy everthing. But still is it wise to spend resources at libre software.

        1. +1

          What I wrote was no critique on free software per se.

          It also applies to Win 10. Some users simply value Win 7 over Win 10.
          – In the same way certain users valued Win 2000 or XP.
          An Win 10 upgrade “for free” (of charge) is still too expensive for these users.

          Even if MS paid them money for using Win 10, they’d rather keep Win 7.
          Alas, some users seem to fail to understand this.

          However. Not everyone is cheap and can be bought.
          Some users rather pay a higher sum for a quality OS they can depend on.
          It’s the piece of software someone hasto interact with most of your time, after all.

          Some users don’t want to use a software-as-a-service OS.
          They want to own (-not rent-) a copy of the OS they use.
          And they want to have rights. They want to use the OS/PC the way they want to use it.
          In short, they want to use an OS that lets them run their applications without interference.

          1. …awesome!
            And some of us don’t want to use an OS. We don’t want to use software. We want to do things with it.

            Whilst you’re feeling high and mighty on your awesome libre tower, (which you’re probably constantly tweaking… been there), the guy next to you is not using an OS and software, but making stuff with them. He’s writing a novel on Windows and MS Word. And it’s soooo much worse a novel for not being written on FOSS.

    3. I’ve had more blue screens on 10 than 7. The only difference is that 10 takes a lot of time to save all of my data and send it microsoft. Every one of those blue screens in 10 came after a forced update that I didn’t want that then got rolled back or patched after the fact.

    4. First Blue Screen Of Death I’ve seen for a long time, came from a machine (Panasonic CF-54) I had purchased ex-demo just last week running, you guessed it, Windows 10.

      All I had done is pulled the original 500GB HDD out and swapped it for a 2TB SSD, then `dd`-ed the content of the old drive back to the SSD via an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS live DVD before re-sizing some partitions using `gparted`.

      It recovered after several re-starts, but it had me concerned for a while. Given there was no change to the start position of the boot partition, just the partition enlarged, there is zero reason for why it should have needed this, one post-resize `fsck` of that partition should have been sufficient, and for Windows 7 and prior, that has indeed been the case.

      Doubly so when you consider this was an OEM installation of Windows 10 and not an after-market installation.

    5. You just haven’t had the pleasure to run into any of the new problems that have come out in the last month that we’re doing everything from breaking desktops to deleting things… Not to mention Microsoft security certificates running out in December of 2020 with no scheduled renewals anywhere in public view, but if you delete those now dangerous security certificates because they’re expired it also breaks a vast percentage of your software. You should really learn what you’re talking about before you just go off half cocked. Also Windows 7 was one of the best operating systems hands down that Microsoft ever released.

  1. The christmas holidays are a good occasion to make yourself and your privacy a great gift by installing Linux on your computer.
    If you are a beginner and just want sth that works try Linux Mint.
    If you want a REALLY stable system and don’t mind older versions try Debian.
    If you want to dig really inside try Arch.
    If you want to compile everything try Gentoo.
    If you are a real geek – well, you already have Linux installed.

    1. No, Christmas is when you find that copy of Slackware for Dummies on a clearance table.The CDROMs still in there, just a torn cover. About fifteen dollars. It was actually just after Christmas 2000.

      It made me realize a 486SLC with 8 megs of ram and 240megs of hard drive was not suitable.

      So it was actually June of 2001 when I switched to Linux, splurging on a used Pentium with 16 or 32megs of ram and 1gig hard drive.

      Coming up to 20 years, it was late because I didn’t have a suitable computer. It was about 20 years before when I read about unix, and wanted it.

      Another few weeks and it will be fifty years since I fkund the hobby electronic magazines.

      1. Caldera, and I remember the box was white and green with some silver. I also remember another distro that came with the most boring instillation video ever created. I don’t think I ever reached the end before falling asleep.

      2. I have similar story but a little different :) – bought a 10$ book of red(cap) for dummies in 1999 :), learned the shell, and told my friends that linux is unix and it is both the past and the future, another one installed slackware because he read that it is more open :) . Gui hopefully installed on a pentium II with 32MB of ram and with a 2 GB disk drive but 2 years later i was able to install debian on an 386/486 dual processor motherboard (it had 486 and 386 manually switchable :), the gui was working but was a pain in the /dev/ass managed to decode mp3 into wav on disk and play waves :), later somebody showed me freeamp (zinf) and i could decode mp3 with a 86% load even on a 386 :).

        Kids! Thinking/combining and “dont-give-uping” is the future, trust me!

  2. If linux was easy for a dumb person to use and had a familiar interface, I would have switched years ago. I’m dumb. I love familiarity. I love the certain programs I’ve learned to use. I love not having to learn entirely different way of doing the most basic functions. In short, I’m dumb. I wished I wasn’t, but I am so I’m stuck with Microsoft products and I hate it.

    1. Seriously give Linux another try – Perhaps Mint or PopOS alot of work has gone into them and a few other distro’s to make them as simple to use as possible – you still have the full scope and complexity of linux config’s available if you want it, but like windows it should just work.

      Won’t get you every program you previously used perhaps, though many things are available on Linux now, or are just a web application anyway… so work on anything with a compliant browser, so you may find nothing changes at all.

      1. I’ll second this. I consider myself a smart person, but I still use Linux Mint as my distro of choice. Why? most of the time I just want things to work with minimal intervention on my part. I dabble here and there with other distros, but that is me having “play time”.

        I also have a Windows 10 machine to run software that I can’t get to work with Linux (yes, I could run it in a virtual machine yadda yadda, but I had an older tower laying around and Windows 10 Home is free if you don’t care about the screen background having a little message about “activating Windows”).

    2. I doubt you’re dumb simply because you frequent a hack site. Most of the average sheep walking around think that “hacks” are “life tips”. Having said that, if you want ease and familiarity, give Ubuntu a try. You’ll be surprised. You can download an image and run it straight off a disc/flashdrive just to see if you like it before you commit to installing it. Then, if you do like it, you can even install it as a dual-boot so you can choose between windows or linux at boot up. Or join the ranks of the woke [as in from the land of the sheep] and go full on linux :)

      ✞ Merry Christmas ✞

    3. “I love not having to learn (sic) entirely different way of doing the most basic functions”
      This is why I stick with Linux Mint at home.
      Over the years, Windows has changed, taking away many features that I, as a power user, had come to rely on.
      Not much changes with every new version of Linux Mint. It mostly just keeps getting better.
      I can use as many keyboard shortcuts as I want – even those custom keys across the top edge.
      The program files I use for fun are all free on Linux. I can pay if I want to, of course.
      And the special script files I write, to automate things, work fine from decade to decade.

      Of course, most people are not power users.
      That is why they don’t even know how M$ has exploited them for profit.
      If you know only how to “move the little mouse and click the little house” then Linux Mint will do everything you need.

      Linux is freedom!

    4. I used to look at people who use Linux the same way you do now. It’s like, those dudes are super human intelligent, have patience, and really don’t like Windows. I tried Linux on and off, over the years. I wanted to feel like I was one of those guys–you know, smart and hackerish. What I found out was that I taught myself how to use Linux gradually. I certainly didn’t pick it up and know how to use it. I watched some YouTube tutorial videos. Played some audio books on the way to work. I just couldn’t grasp the concept of what Linux is. One day I’m screwing around in Pop OS, years down the road, and it dawned upon me–I slowly learned and now I understand Linux pretty well. Linux isn’t hard, it just takes time to learn and create muscle memory to quickly fire off commands in Bash. I’m not a master, probably never will be. I do know enough to make my way through Arch based distros. Windows is hard too, to someone who has never used it.

    5. You know what, I know I’m intelligent enough to switch to Linux, but whenever I contemplate it I find myself wondering why I would want to. Windows does 100% of what I want, has far more software available, doesn’t require me to jump through hoops to install drivers (I once observed a linux savy friend attempt to install GPU drivers for over 2 days before giving up), and forget serious gaming. Sure that last one is petty, and I could dual boot to teach myself, but I haven’t had time for that plus working plus raising kids, plus keeping up with other projects etc etc. Linux is freedom only if you haven’t invested your time and money into another OS, otherwise it’s just wasted time getting back to where you were at with the other OS.

      Use what suites you and don’t sweat the lack of “linux freedom”. Windows works just fine for the rest of us.

      As far as hating Windows but feeling stuck with it… I can’t help you there, that’s an issue you need to work out on your own.

      1. Keep in mind that for some, it’s the reverse, “why switch to Windows?”

        For five years, I had no operating system, or floppy drive. I read about Unix, and wanted it, but it was unaivalable, and the hardware too expensive. So when I got my third computer in 1984, I got my first floppy drive, and started using Microware OS-9, multitasking/multiuser said to be “unix-like”.

        I did use a Mac Plus for almost seven years starting in 1994, but I never used Windows other than playing with it a bit until I won a Surface 2 tablet some years back.

        It’s easier to use Linux than to switch to Windows. Linux clones the philosophy of Unix, so I’m really using a fifty year old OS. Yes, it’s changed, and bugs can still be found, but it’s not a new operating system every few years to stay up to date or to sell a new product. I never had to struggle to adapt because there was similarity to OS-9, and the C Compiler environment I ran on my Atari ST thirty years ago.

        My needs are simple, I run Linux because I can. It always surprises me tosee people who want the identity of “hacker” to stick with Windows.

      2. If windoze does all you want that is your problem (sorry I meant good fortune) – though seriously no need to change if you are happy to keep paying M$, put up with the privacy invasions etc etc, you choose what is right for you.

        But I will say Windows doesn’t have ‘far more’ software, if that was ever really true it was a long time ago now (Linux has had access to a wide scope of things from other unix based systems too). What Windoze does have is the software you happen to know via distribution methods you understand (though I’d think with Apple and Googles phone stores a package manager isn’t so alien to most folk any more (plus the age of appimages, flatpaks etc to make it simple as can be), and a great many traditionally Windon’t only programs now offer Linux support – no need to use Wine – Which incidently actually lets you more easily use software designed for older MS operating systems on Linux now than in more recent windows – Wine is good for keeping old stuff alive and useable.)

        And for serious gaming almost every game out there will run perfectly on Linux, quite a few studios now actively produce games with Linux support (though not as many as I’d like) and Valves Proton magic really works well for most titles. I still have the Hardware GPU virtualised Windows machine for those few games I like that don’t. But I’ve been launching it less and less as Proton and native Linux support improves. So really serious gaming can be Linux based overall – it might not be perfect but it really does work well for most games. Would still suggest the simple way is to console or windows though – I game on Linux when I can because it works and I’m already using it anyway – why dual boot or VM if it will just work…

        On the issue of drivers – that shit goes both ways, windows 10 is often garbage with hardware that is old/poorly supported having some undocumented change that means it can’t use older versions drivers – but guess what I like my stupidly expensive at the time photo printer(which still does great quality images), the old Lego vision camera (which is pretty crap but in a great formfactor for lego use) etc and Linux is superb at making older hardware still work. Some really cutting edge modern stuff you will be at the mercy of the companies involved in making it, so probably won’t have an easy ride – though Linux support isn’t as bad as it used to be there. And some hardware is just garbage no matter what OS you are running – the poulsbo chipset being one I remember fighting with to get/keep working at all, and a certain generation of AMD graphics cards are problematic – being in the changeover as AMD created AMDGPU to provide better Linux support for current cards that generation doesn’t work that well in Windows either (I know I happened to have one and it was infuriatingly bad).

        1. Literally everything you said was dripping with condescension. If using Linux means I get to become more like you I’m definitely going to pass.

          “Windoze is expensive and steals your data! Aren’t you worried about your privacy? What about blue screens? How could you possibly live with them? It’s like eye cancer!” This is what I hear all the time.

          Windows is expensive if you buy it via the normal means. The grey market has some serious discounts, I only paid $25 for my pro copy of windows 10. And as far as paying for it at all, that’s fine, that pays for further development and tech support for those that aren’t able to work out the problems themselves.

          I love how angsty the anti-windows community gets over data harvesting. I personally don’t have any data I care enough about to consider private, it certainly isn’t important enough to be concerned about other people having it. I’m not important enough to be worried about what people know about me and my habits. Very few people are that important. What’s this about targeted ads? Wouldn’t know, I have enough mental discipline to not get distracted by ads. I can’t even remember what was in the last ad I saw, and that was minutes ago. Also, all of that can either be disabled or blocked. If you care about it, it’s on you to learn how to disable the data or block it. Microsoft isn’t going to give up a business opportunity just because of your feelings.

          Blue screens happen, big deal, figure out what they are trying to tell you happened and learn how to fix it. The alternative is just a reboot with no info and a long slog through log files. The blue screen is there to help you fix the problem.

          All the anti windows arguments are basically variations on gah my privacy! Or gah my system stability! Or gah my wallet! None of them are really valid when you dig deeper.

          1. I meant what I said with some humour, though in text and with cultural differences I understand that may not have come across – certainly not to belittle.

            You really want to use Windoze that is fine by me.
            Your data is your own, do with it whatever you like.

            I personally find the idea that M$ understands how to, or provides anything like techsupport laughable in my experience, but if you are getting what you need, good for you. I prefer to get my techsupport from Arch/Ubuntu/Debian/RedHat documentation and the Linux Community on the web – its never let me down yet. And should it ever really matter enough and come to pass that these resources fail its still not a dead end – you can dig through the source to find the issues, which is a model I vastly prefer to M$ hide everything away, document almost nothing of how it works and allow no external fixes approach.

            I’m also quite happy to pay for software or donate to projects producing what I like – but if you are going to have a paid model I vastly prefer the “you bought it, please feel free to run it wherever as often as you like” software model – not the cough up for every instance of it you might ever run, or you may only use one instance and therefor must always be online models – though MS has improved vastly in its handling of licence keys around issues like VMs in recent years.

            But you are entirely wrong on one element – no matter how you try its not possible for a M$ based system to have stable uptimes in years, its rarely into the weeks before some automatic no longer blockable update buggers something up and requires a full reboot. Which is the reason almost all of the internet, and for that matter most super computers run some variety of Linux – its vastly more reliable. That may not matter at all to how you use your computer, but its a very valid point.

    6. they are peple like you (dump, as you defined yourself) that make the herd of coutless number of people that give power to Microsoft, google, apple etc and make them grown in power and richness year over year. I stopped years ago to fight and start to buy apple/microsoft/google stock options. One of my best decision in life. dumps are not to be “saved”, they are to be used. In shot: thank you to be a dump.

    7. Zorin was made for you. Mint isn’t bad either.
      My grandson runs Lubuntu on a laptop that’s older than he is. But he’s not that dumb, just a little fidgety sometimes.

  3. Just to shed light on the genisis of this. We were talking about the MS comic book about Mommy who is there a server in our house. So that spurred us to think of other child friendly OS indoctrination.

    Google “Mommy, Why is There a Server in the House?”

      1. Okay, *that* gave me a chuckle!

        Mike: I thought the poem was witty and I’m apparently one of the few readers who’s not an ideologue and can enjoy humor aimed at mildly sacred things.

        Everyone else: The only purpose of solemnity is control. Mike doesn’t need your control, he makes a really good site without it.

        1. Agreed. People are getting really butthurt over a VERY mild rhyme. I think we should do one for Apple and watch all hell break loose. It might actually start a riot somewhere. The Hackaday Christmas Riots they’ll call it.

  4. this is a serious cheap shot. i hate it when ppl just assume your os is a choice. im not a fan of MS and im a big believer in FOSS but when you want to play games or use some specialized software your pretty much bound to windows. not to mention that MS office still is way better than libre or openoffice and all adobe products are way better than gimp and their open counterparts so yeah “choice” ……

    1. Well see above, but due to the acceleration in technology the “bondage” isn’t as bad as it use to be. The stumbling stone is unfamiliarity. People can still use Windows while mitigating some of it’s less desirable qualities.

      1. while i agree it looks promising and virtualization can be a great tool in my opinion this still only works in a personal setting not really a professional one. our IT department is really bad and im pretty sure even if they had the time they would not bother even attempting this.

          1. Good luck with that in most corporate environments. Your IT people/policy must be really laid back. No place I have worked would even let me consider running software that wasn’t already on the pc or available as a webpage embedded tool.

        1. Huge server farms are full of nothing but virtualised machines, its a huge industry in its own right now.
          And there’s the many places that use Thin clients, which is often much the same thing on the back.

          That said ANY old IT department being able to deploy such things is a stretch. As it requires actual technical setup knowhow to build and setup such a system (not to mention actually getting a budget to upgrade past any beancounters), which many IT departments won’t have as they never needed it. Virtualisation is its own minefield of learning… Good fun though.

    2. Where is some people’s humor? I read the above and smile. Most of us have been there one way or another :) . I started wid CPM/86 and DOS and worked up through Windows, and dabbled with Linux, and finally on Linux for good quite a few years ago now. Work is still a Windows shop, so deal with the weekly reboots and such (things that Windows users except at ‘normal’) .

      That said, there are some of us that aren’t ‘tied’ to M$ or feed the antivirus beast every year, or upgrade costs. I find Linux does everything I need doing from home server to desktop to laptops, to SBCs. Notice I said ‘I’. Doesn’t apply to everyone. As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink it”. LibreOffice for example. I have not one complaint with it for home use (I did complaints back when it was OpenOffice, but that has changed). I find it much easier to use than Office at work. Yet I can export to docx if needed, or pdf when needed. Or open Windows excel and documents. Very nice. Firefox for the browser, Thunderbird for the E-mail client. VLC for the media client. Then I have all the ‘tools’ I like to use at my finger tips. C, Python, Perl, Free Pascal, Assembly for projects. I have FreeCad for 3D printing projects. KiCad for board design. Geany for my text editor. InkScape for simple vector graphic generation. KeePassX for username/password storage. Printer support is there for every printer I’ve owned. The list rolls on…. Not into ‘games’, but there options there. I may pull up Chess, or a Sudoku sometime … extent of my games (who has time?) . Photos? I’ve used Gimp… But overkill when you need to just crop, and resize (99% of what I do with photos). I use GWenView now for that. This just touches the surface of what is available. Choices, it is wonderful.

      Then there is a desktop GUI for everyone’s taste. I am currently using KDE as my desktop (KUbuntu LTS 20.04). Some prefer Gnome (I dislike), xfce, LXDE, or Cinnamon (more Windows 7 like). All customizable. Freedom of choice. I use Win10 at work… Stuck with it, no choice. Windows users wanting to try Linux, I point the them to Mint Cinnamon or KUbuntu.

      1. I’m just tired of the “war”… I’ve watched it forever now and it’s just really annoying and the post is obviously trying to bait people for clicks. I’d much rather get a nice hack (not the Raspberry Pi murders by that youtube joker, of course) than an idiotic poem. This whole poem is as cringe as you using “M$.”

      2. The humor died when it became obvious this was just more “Linux is superior because it’s free and doesn’t crash”. Neither of which are true. Many free distros are mostly crap or copies of better distros, and linux most certainly does crash. My Windows machine does indeed blue screen on me occasionally. But that’s because I’ve done something stupid like ef with the hardware while it’s running.

        Somebody else said something similar already, this is hackaday, not jadedpoemsaday.

    3. Valve has done some amazing work with WINE via their Proton contributions, I’ve yet to find a game that doesn’t run under Debian, including some sketchy titles like GTA V/Online and Fallout 3/4/NV.

      As for Autodesk and Adobe, there’s always OS X.

      1. I know of quite a few that won’t play nice, mostly because of anti-cheat type crap.
        But I will second that Valve, the Wine team and community around Proton have done some amazing things (heck some games actually play better than native on windows, though most are just very damn close to it).

        Its got to the point I have fired up the windoze VM so rarely recently I actually have to ls to find the Qemu start script I wrote. (Used to be just bump up the terminal history a few times and/or remember well enough for autocomplete to jump to ’em)

    1. I was also thinking this must be generational, and the M$ fan folks calling foul were not around for OS wars, don’t remember SCO, don’t remember having to pay $100s for M$ licenses just to get the hardware, the FUD campaign, M$ anti-trust suite, M$ getting broken up, M$ weaseling out of getting broken up and being allow to continue as a monopoly.

      M$ has done a lot of damage to the software industry, in particularly open source (both individual and corporate ran projects/products). It’s also done a lot of damage to individuals, imposing a large M$ tax on hardware impacts those with less economic mobility, and undermines open source efforts to democratize access to high quality software.

      In general I think we would be much further along if M$ had not have played so dirty, and I still find myself being bitter about. These days M$’s behavior is much better, and better than much of it’s competition, but let’s not forgot that much of today’s successful M$ is built deceit and criminal/illegal practices.

      And Bill Gates continues to refuse to admit he did anything wrong…

    1. Bit of both. The lack of moderation has increased the toxicity, but it’s only a small percentage of commenteers who are trolls. Wouldn’t take much effort to weed them out. Sadly clicks and nuber of posts is more important to the site than quality.

      1. You’re wrong. We’ve been moderating more and more, rather than less.

        And we don’t care about the number of comments at all. We’d rather have five quality comments than 100 mediocre ones. But moderating them all is an impossibly large burden.

        How do we weed the trolls out while preserving our open culture?

        1. yeah, and if you moderate too much, there’s the phenomenon of “moderator jadedness”, basically, while enforcing even not-that-restrictive rules, as time goes on, moderators start seeing more and more posts as “potentially crossing the line” and deleting posts they wouldn’t before. it’s a phenomenon mostly noticeable on places like Twitch and Discord, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it applies to a long-running blog with >1k comments per day, too.

  5. Rabble, rabble, why is Chrome and Open Office on a server? Sounds like something Linux would do.

    It’s obviously plagiarized, there’s no spelling errors so it can’t be written by a HAD author.

    Something something 555 timer.

    Tip of the day: If you use the term “M$” occasionally, people you should avoid go out of their way to let you know who they are.

  6. This is super tone-deaf, and I say that as a Linux user since 2003 who has never had a Windows PC as his main computer. While I’m not going to forget the many bad things M$ has done (embrace, extend, extinguish; FUD about GNU/Linux; sockpuppeting with SCO…), let’s focus on current software freedom issues.

    … And anyway, servers all have Linux on them already :D

    1. If this is “tone-deaf” what is the tone that is being ignored? Is it MS memorial day? Did MS die and no one told me? Did MS cure cancer and corona while giving it all away for free? I really don’t get the uproar. Explain, please.

  7. I liked the poem. Thanks. Those “insulted” should also feel insulted every time their Win10 box sends data to MS, which is all the time … “to improve the user experience …”

  8. What the hell is “tone-deaf” about this? It’s a joke, people. Pull your heads out of your arses and gift yourself a sense of humor. I swear, I miss the old days when people weren’t so sensitive that a joke about the power hungry, greedy corporate overload that is micro$oft would garner so much hatred and outrage.

    ✞ Merry CHRISTmas ✞

  9. I got a few chuckles from the poem.

    That said, I’ve had better experience with Windows over the past decade than with Linux. On several occasions I’d boot up a Linux machine to find that it had somehow mysteriously broke itself since the last time I used it, which is something I can’t recall Windows doing during that same period. As a desktop OS for users who want minimal hassle, personally I find Linux is not the best choice unless free and open source are of prime importance. I like the convenience and the “hidden” nature of most program installations under Windows, whereas on Linux many times you have to follow along this long and complex process (unless you’re a pro) of installing various dependency packages, or other stuff that’s not part of your particular distro.

    Servers could be a different story, but I have next to no experience on that side of computing. Funnily enough, I briefly worked at a university around 2001 and the server admins there were rebooting their Linux systems once a week while their NT systems were being rebooted once every few months.

    1. What are you doing to get that out of a Linux Box?!?!
      Dualbooting with Windon’t? – Its about the only thing I know of that will reliably stop Linux booting, and nothing to do with Linux at all – entirely on how the boot loader is setup and Windoze update throwing out the GNU-Linux bootloader stuff it doesn’t like…

      Otherwise as nothing at all changes without permission if it worked when you put it away, it will work when you get it back out (unless you have dodgy hardware). You should also find basically zero issues with dependencies – use the package manager, it is what it is for, and it does that job of installing everything you need perfectly. Should you need something that isn’t packaged up in any way I’d love to know what it could be – so many places will ship you a .deb, rpm or appimage now all ready to go if that’s what you want – no work for you but downloading, pretty much the same as windoze, and almost everything you could ever want is usually prepackaged by the distro anyway…

      As a user you should never need to play with make, and dependencies yourself unless you want to… (Or have very very bizarre software needs, in which case I’d doubt Windoze or Mac’s could fill the need either)

    2. FWIW I have an annual tradition of trying Linux, since literally slackware in 1994. I still have yet to switch.

      I’m a programmer/IT guy by trade. I need my personal computer to just work. I don’t want to be messing with things all the time, and compatibility and OOTB functionality matters.

      I’ve yet to find a Linux install that doesn’t drive me batty within the first day of trying it. It’s usually little things, but those are what matter.

      Linux has come a long way, and it really is amazing. But it’s not for everyone.

      1. What you are really saying there is I want a bug for bug replacement of windoze, as I know all the stupid things it does, so they don’t drive me batty as I see them every day and fix or bypass them without thinking – its just part of the scenery.

        There is something to drive you mad in any OS, for me WIndows is by far the worst for annoyance factors, followed by Apple stuff, then the GNU/Linux and BSD flavours. With the one exception being hardware with poor support – if its old Linux probably handles it better, but while newish if its not well supported odds are it won’t work outside of Windon’t at all (and often not well on it even then – as poorly supported hardware is generally entirely bad it seems)..

        These days there really isn’t anything the more desktop newbie friendly Linux systems are actually worse at, IMO they are actually much less buggy and annoying on the whole. Its just things done differently – which can feel annoying till you get used to it. Just look at windows 8 – its not actually that different in how you use it, its bloat, or functionality to 7 and 10, just a GUI change that everyone universally hates (with some merit – but its not like the settings, control panel etc menus in 10 are logical and sane any more either – just more familiar)

  10. Reading the comments, there’s people talking about “trolls” but I genuinely can’t figure out whether they’re talking about people saying “this article is bad, actually” or “this article is good, actually”, and I don’t even see any legitimate trolls. It’s either some now-deleted comments, or people are doing the usual “everyone disagreeing with me is a troll” thing… probably both.

    Also, I know that Chrome rhymes there and Firefox doesn’t, but I’m still low-key disappointed, how dare you?

    1. No one here is actually talking about the article, of course…lol. Haters gonna hate.

      I’ve had more BSOD on Windows than on Linux, though I had a virus on Linux once… I just shut it off, copied it and I still have that copy!!!

      Free doesn’t mean free of cost, in case anyone was trying to have a thought.
      “Free as in freedom, not beer.”~Richard Stallman

  11. i get about one or two blue-screens a year, and im typing this on … well… lets just say im not telling you what OS; to keep the blue-screens away!

    if i was using win10 then MOST people would assume correctly when they write thier win10 only virus

    two things cause blue-screens on my computer; 1) loose connections andor minor amounts of corrosion just unplug and replug and your good to go and 2) writing a program instruction that gets stopped by the OS to protect me from myself as we dont always know what our future bugs may accidentally be trying to do to the rest of the computer.

    ditto for one specific network-based OS from the 80’s with a built-in network-wide kill-all-files command (server included). needed to watch-out for 1-byte viruses; hidden anywhere.

  12. Awww, that was so cute! It’s only a poem people.

    To some of the Linux evangelists here: Your evangelism does more harm than good. The moment you evangelize something, it’s immediately subjected to microscopic scrutiny. Once that happens it may as well be end game; you can’t win so why bother? I’m almost 25 y.o. and have been using Linux all my life since I was a little girl. I honestly could care less what other people are using. That’s their business. Do you think that Linus T. cares if you use Linux or not? I promise you he could give a rats-ass-one. Ditto for any other open source developers be it Linux kernel or otherwise. It serves their intended purpose. Do you think any of them care about what OS you use? Sorry, but they simply do not. Why should you? Your intentions may be noble and I truly do understand your sense of love and loyalty, but all it does is greatly increase the noise to signal yielding higher blood pressure but zero net gain; a fruitless exercise only to reach the point of diminishing if not zero returns early on. As you already know, Linux has gained traction over the years due to the strengths of its technology and not by any BS evangelism. People like you who are using it and doing really cool things with it is your testament to the rest of the world. Just keep on doing that. Online life is so much simpler and so much better when you no longer care what OS all the other wanking Wallys of the world are running. Contributing by learning how to program, actively testing programs and giving feedback or simply answering questions to folks who ask for help advances your cause by orders of magnitude over anything else. How many converts to the holy church of Linux have we seen in this thread? Zilch. Not replying to those who lack a sense of humor and respond negatively to this poem is more of a jab to the stomach than any caustic evangelistic response you could possibly write in return. Love you guys, really.

    Nikki

    1. “I’m almost 25 y.o. and have been using Linux all my life since I was a little girl.”, I get it, you are trying to have a place here by providing some form of experience. So, like you have been using Linux for 10 years? Many of us here have been using Linux longer than you have been with us. I started with the first release of Red Hat, which was a long time ago. Of course, around that time I also got a gold release of Windows 95 from a friend who worked at Microsoft, before 95 actually released. Back then Linux was no where near as refined as it is now. It was cool because it was different. Made me feel like I was eating some sort of forbidden fruit, or like driving an exotic car. Everyone used DOS/Windows 3.1 and 95 was pretty amazing but Linux felt good because it was completely alternative while looking sleek and modern. What I’m getting at, is the Microsoft and Linux rivalry goes way back. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using either. However, there is 100% a difference between someone who prefers the Linux kernel to the NT kernel. Just leave it at that. Mac OS users are another completely different group who seem to like form over function. Nothing wrong with pretty stuff, but Linux is getting there. Windows is fine, but it’s corporate.

      1. I’m with Nikki on the assertion that helping people does way more to evangelize Linux than telling them they are stupid for not using it. Dissing someone for being the new kid in the room is why Windows continues to dominate the installed base of desktops. May I speak from my experience? I first programmed on punch cards in Fortran, wrote batch files in DOS before Windows was a gleam in Bill Gates’ avaricious eyes and yes, I used an Apple II and a Mac at work when System 6 was state of the art. Windows has come a very long way since then, and the current CEO has submerged much of the “dominate at all costs” mentality that made Microsoft such a giant pain in the ass.

        Linux has also come a very long way, and for some of my friends and relatives, I would recommend Linux without a second thought. Other family members, I let them buy whatever the salesman at the big box store recommends, and tell them I don’t know anything about Windows-because these are people that cannot read a dialog box and write down the contents for anyone to help them.

        And here’s where all the haters can diss me, I still use a Mac laptop, based on the strength of the hardware and the integration with the software at the driver level. The consistent claim is that “Macs are too expensive”, yet every 4-5 years I evaluate the hardware cost, and for equivalent feature sets with a fast laptop processor, the price difference is less than 5%–for the last 12 years. A couple years ago, I bought a laptop built specifically for Linux (System 76). It’s a fine machine, and I really like the dual drive bays. The OS is polished, and I had zero problems finding software to do approximately what I want. I had issues, though, where the trackpad was….glitchy, just like every Windows laptop my employer chooses for me. Video drivers and scaling are not always seamless, especially with the high res screen I got in my Linux laptop, just like my work Windows laptop. So I passed the Linux laptop to my husband, who happily surfs the web as needed. It sleeps when he closes it, and wakes reliably (unlike my work laptop, that has to be carefully shutdown lest it lock up on wakeup). And I bought a mid-upper range Mac laptop with a 6 core i9 processor, only to have their latest entry level laptop with custom silicon smoke the living hell out of every laptop in their line-up in benchmarks, with twice the battery life. But, hey, the trackpad works seamlessly, my uptimes are in weeks, and 10 hour battery life works for my use cases. I still have Python, R and LaTeX alongside my obscure Mac-only productivity tools that have iPhone versions.

        Libre software benefits us all. What doesn’t benefit us is trash talking, and making people feel stupid because they haven’t spent years learning the lingo, don’t understand the difference between RAM and hard drive. Some people just want to get their work done. They don’t want a fire-breathing preacher telling them they are headed for perdition because they went in the store and bought what was in their price range, and just worked. Lets try to be helpful, even if people stare like deer in the headlights when you say something about drivers. We were all newbies once.

  13. Cute, but tiresome.
    I’ve had more problems with Linux than with Windows over the last 20 years. BSODs are incredibly rare on windows now, but my linux server won’t boot a video driver half the time, and it can’t seem to display more than 800×600 when it does. Headless operation is useful only when it is intentional…

    If you can actually get it running decently, Linux is generally better for running servers, it will run until they stop supporting your hardware, and lots of people can help you work out how to fix it.

    But if you are actually going to do any engineering CAD work, you really need a Windows machine. The software generally doesn’t run on anything else… and good luck trying to get Linux to support any slightly unusual external hardware.

    Yes, yes, I know there are some programs that work on Linux, but they are usually incredibly clunky, and generally not used in industry; nobody is going to hire you to use FreeCAD…

    1. I think you missed out the “yet” at the end there. FreeCAD has come a very long way, so I’d be surprised if it doesn’t displace its expensive rivals relatively soon. In the same way Blender is now the only tool of it type anybody ever talks about.

      I’d still not suggest JUST learning it if employment is your goal – I agree nobody is likely to hire you to use it for a while at least.

      But I will say you really can use a Linux machine and FOSS to do CAD if you want to, and almost always can get a windows application running under Linux if that is what you want to do as well (though if its for work you might as well just run native Windoze, why put in any extra effort without good reason, you surely are not being paid enough…).

      I would suggest your video driver issue is probably a hardware issue – Linux is very consistent so inconsistent failures makes it more likely to not be Linux at fault (even if it works with widoze it can be hardware issues – just the windows driver might reset the fault, though probably still with performance lost). That said I’ve not seen the issue or any log files etc. Its just been my experience that intermittent failures around Linux are usually hardware problems, where reliable, almost predictable failures is usually using a weird setup with incorrect config for its oddness (the out of the box functionality of most distro’s on more normal setups being almost flawless for quite a while now in my experience).

  14. Amazing isn’t it, people will take time to piss on a good idea no matter what. Been a sys admin for a level 1 trauma ctr for 20 years. I arrived to help them move off big iron and onto the desktop. I begged them to try linux, not on the desktop, but in the server rooms. Admin claimed linux sys admins were too few and too expensive. I tried to use that as my point. It’s taken 20 years for them to wake up. Our food/Bev system runs virtually on a windows server box and once a week stops at random. It appears to be operating, but it’s not allowing info to move through the system. Msft, the sw vendor and our engineers have been trying for 10 years to figure it out. Nothing. Our linux servers on the other hand have 1 admin. We normally have more but recent re-orgs have sent them out in the ‘for profit’ sector. But most of IS. Never knew this until just recently when ‘the guy’ was needed to test a process and turned out he was on vacation. My son runs the only win10 pc in the house, everything else is android,.linux or arm. He got a large monitor as a gift and in helping him set it up I found out that windows was not accepting any keyboard input once it reached the desktop. Get an app open and that app was fine, but until then the lbs wouldn’t input. Spent 17 hours doing everything I knew. It wouldn’t even allow me to install a clean version. I was just about to physically swap HDD and try a clean install when suddenly, I found an obscure article that mentioned an update that was released after Thanksgiving that could in certain systems cause such an issue. But by running this NEW update it would be resolved. 4 hours and 27 reboots later it worked. In the same time period, between reboots and bsods, I built from frame up a new ryzen 7 pc running linux, and moved all of my writing material over to it. I don’t game I’m an author in my spare time……

    1. So, what your saying is you chose not to look up the problem for 17h? Not trying to be an ass but that’s the next step for me after checking the hardware was working properly. I often find the people who are supposed to be pros often do things in less than ideal ways.

      Also, the only times I’ve never been able to do a clean install on a pc with windows is if the bios is fragged (only have seen that once) or if linux/android have completely botched the formating or the boot sections of the hdd. Then I usually have to jump through hoops to clean up the drive. That has happened to me a bunch of times using Android. Never once has Windows completely locked down the drive from being cleaned.

  15. You know what I find interesting about this comment section? Most of the people talking about a lack of humor and how linux is just better period have actually made me less likely to switch to Linux. If this is indicative of the linux community as whole then I really want no part. The unwarranted sense of superiority from the community really makes linux unattractive as an OS.

    1. I did recently have to make a decision on which car I should buy and I based my decision of which manufacturer made me laugh the most. I’m now the proud owner of a clown car. BSOD’s are nothing compared to the doors and wheels falling off every few yards

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