My “Thesis” on Desktop Linux

OSNews.com was kind enough to publish my really long musing on Desktop Linux for the Home: How and Why? – OSNews.com.
Since they seem to be well read by a lot of OS people I’m hoping that at least a few will notice it and maybe take a little bit of it to heart.

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One thought on “My “Thesis” on Desktop Linux

  1. Robert Boylan

    John,
    Just read your article on “Desktop Linux for the Home” and thought you identified the problems and solutions.
    I wonder, though, if the rebel attitude of many Linux users and developers can see your wisdon?
    For your info, my computer experience dates back to 1965 and developing operating systems in assembly language for several different companies.
    Then I saw the original Mac in 1984 and realized it represented a total sea change (or paradigm shift as one says today). I waited a total of six weeks to buy my first one and have never looked back or regretted that decision.
    I’ve tried a number of PPC Linux distributions and as someone who grew up on command line interfaces (and actually wrote one for a particular operating system I worked on), I can honestly say that I could _never_ get past the buzzwords in all the various prompts involved in even the easiest of the distributions.
    So, even as a _very_ experienced computer user, I think you’ve exactly identified what’s wrong with Linux on the desktop. Further, I’ve switched over to Mac OS X on my new Macs and, as an ex-OS developer, I can honestly say that OS X is a dog in terms of performance. It’s cute and garish but it’s still a dog. I’m hoping some of what you said will resonate with some Linux company and provide me with a system that _performs_ on these new Macintosh systems!
    I briefly experimented with the BeOS when it still ran on Macintosh hardware. It came with a bunch of little utility programs that would drive the CPU utilization to the limit and yet menu selection and mouse clicking was always instantaneous; if BeOS could do that on 200MHz PPCs and Mac OS X can’t do the same on a new 1GHz PowerBook, then there’s somethine “rotten in Denmark!” If Linux could provide that level of performance and provide comparable applications, then I’d switch in a New York minute.
    So, what I’m saying is that there’s a real need for a system that _performs_ as well as for a system that works for novice users (as you describe in your article). The Mac OS X market certainly isn’t as big as the Windows market but five percent of a market as big as the computer market is nothing to laugh at; consider it as an increment attack on the whole GUI experience.
    Thoughtfully — r.boylan

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