Category Archives: opinion

Ubuntu 11.04 Review -The Basics

It has been a year since I last posted and I’m going to pick up where I left off. I last posted about how my laptop was broken and that thus I was thus not willing to attempt to reinstall Fedora. This left me stuct with Ubuntu 10.04. a year and two versions of Ubuntu later and I still haven’t gone back to Fedora (at least not full time). I had Ubuntu on my laptop because it had just come out and I installed it to write a review. So I think it is fitting that I should pick back up with a review of ubuntu 11.04 Natty narwhal (which sounds like the name that would be given to a “craft” version of cheap Busch beer marketed towards some sub-culture)

Before I jump into that, I would like to explain a bit about why I have not moved back to Fedora. Like I said in my last post my laptop was broken and trying to install Fedora would have been difficult or impossible. That laptop quickly became unusable and I had to switch to a Dell gx150 that I had laying around. the gx150s were on the low end of the pc spectrum when they came out a decade (or whatever) ago. being that I had two laptops die in 2 years I decided investing in a desktop might be a better option. So I harvested what I could from the laptop and pieced together a desktop from whatever I could find on sale or craigslist. now I have a desktop with a intel core 2 quad q84000, 6gb of ram, and an nvidia 9600 video card. It may not be the fastest machine on the block, but it is certainly a few steps up from my laptop. (I also just finally upgraded from an old dying crt to a used lcd monitor that I was given by someone who claimed it didn’t work)

Now on to the review. I’m going to break this up into two posts so if you are reading this much after the post date you should be able to follow the link below to continue, if not you will just have to come back for more. Also as is usual if you find spelling and grammatical errors it is because I don’t care enough to proof read any of this stuff. It takes long enough to write it in the first place, if I were to proof read it, I would never post it.

Installation as far as I can tell/remember is identical to 10.10. There is really nothing special or interesting here. Below is a screen shot of what 11.04 looks like right after install (minus the folder on the desktop). Its pretty sleek looking (click to enlarge).

The only real change of notice in Natty Narwhal is Unity, which I actually rather like. Unity is by no means perfect (see next post), but I’m hoping that with time it could be great. I heard a few people complaining bitterly about unity when it was first included in the netbook edition, but I have always liked docks (which is essentially what this is) in just about any form, including the windows taskbar. The Launcher (as canonical calls it) is not the only feature of Unity. There is also a mac os/compiz style virtual desktop viewer called expo (as seen below). One really cool feature that expo has is that you can drag windows around between the desktops. You can also use expo without ever touching your mouse. Meta(win)+s opens expo and the arrow keys can be used to select the desktops. When you have found the desktop you want just hit enter.

Unity also features a new search/launch thing called the dash that is very similar to the one in Gnome 3 (press the meta(win) key to access). unfortunately I could not get a screenshot of this because print screen is disabled while the dash is open. I’m sure I could get a picture if I really cared, but I don’t. I wasn’t a huge fan of the dash like thing in Gnome 3 but this one is actually quite usable. I think the difference maybe the ease of use from a keyboard. If my memory serves me correctly it was difficult to use the one in Gnome 3 without the mouse. I am basing this on the version of Gnome 3 that the fedora 15 alpha used so things may have changed (it is also possible that unity has these problems but I haven’t noticed them as much for whatever reason). I absolutely hated Gnome3 and I thought I was going to hate unity but I actually like it a lot (except for a few fairly minor things which I will discuss next time). There are two other less impressive new features which should be noted; one is the new rating system built into the software center (bad screen shot of software center below). and the other I will discuss in the complaints section and the other I will discuss in the complaints section. It is probably worth mentioning at this point that the launcher, the dash, and expo all require graphics acceleration and therefore for most people also require that you install proprietary video drivers. I’m not a complete FLOSS zealot so I don’t really mind this but I’m sure a lot of people out there will. If you are one of those people or if you just have a old graphics card Canonical has graciously provided a default mode (just in the same way Gnome 3 does) which looks very similar to gnome 2.x.

So lets talk about the launcher for a bit. The launcher will dodge out of the way of windows as you can see in the next two screenshots. This is the major source of my complains about Unity. The launcher needs a good polishing. It is the face of Unity and frankly I’m not sure it is really ready for mainstream use. though I have had no problems with Unity crashing, it seems that many people have. I believe I read that almost every user in a test group for the release candidate crashed it. I would be willing to bet that many of the people experiencing crashing with Unity have under powered graphics and thus anyone with a decent graphics card should not have this issue. This might be fixed by now so don’t take what I say for granted. Despite its problems as I have said a few times already, I like it. One feature of note (though I think it is kind of annoying) is that when the launcher is hidden if when a program wants you attention it will pop out and wiggle (which I believe is also a feature found in mac os). Despite the constant referencing of mac os, I think the launcher more resembles the windows taskbar than Apple’s dock. You can think of it as something that is in between.

Moving applications around in the launcher is not intuitive and it took me a day or two of using Unity before I figured out how to do it. The two pictures below show the process. You can not simply click on an icon and drag it up or down, nor can you right click and select move like you could in gnome. In order to move an icon you must drag it to the right out of the launcher and then move it up and down. When the icon is dragged out, a little gray line appear indicated where the icon will be dropped when you let it go. I discovered this only after seeing if I could remove an icon from the launcher by dragging it out like in just about every other similar program (you can’t).

The last bit about the launcher is how it keeps track of multiple windows. As you can see in the picture below there are dots on the left of the icon and an arrow on the right. the dots indicate the number of total windows for that application and the arrow on the right indicates that at least one window is open. If the application only has one window the dots are replaced by a single arrow as can be seen in a few of the other screenshots.

The next thing to point out is that the menu bar is gone! As you can see in the picture below, application menus and the window buttons have been moved to the top panel like in mac os. Unlike mac os however, you can only see the menus while mousing over them. When you do not have your mouse over the top panel the window title is displayed. I’m not sure if I really need to say this or not, but I’m going to just for good measure. This is really freaking annoying.

One last thing I just noticed. If you drag a window to the left or right the window will “maximize” to fill half of the screen or the full screen in the case of the top. I don’t believe gnome does/did this, but if I’m just being forgetful let me know. Even if gnome didn’t do this its still not terribly impressive, but it does need to be mentioned.

As you can see and may experience the only thing to really talk about in Natty Narwhal is Unity. As I have said several times now, I like unity but it needs a lot of polish. I think they did a really grate job on this so far. It looks and acts very very similarly to Gnome 3, yet somehow I don’t hate it. I actually like it! Anyway, if you have been afraid to upgrade to 11.04 you should probably get over your fears and take the plunge because while it may not be perfect and it might take you a day to get used to the launcher and the dash, I don’t think it will negatively affect your productivity and you just might like it as much or more than I do. If you are still on the fence because I keep talking about how there are lots of little problems without ever telling you quite what they are you should come back later/check out the link below to see my next and final installment on this review.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 23, 2011 in foss, linux, opinion, review, ubuntu


Tags: , , , ,

Stop the War, Stop Economic Decline.

The United States, and indeed the world, seems to be entering an economic slump. I’m not sure about the rest of the world but the economy in the United States has been taking a nose dive ever since King George entered office, however it seems to bee accelerating as of late. Lets apply some logic to this situation and what our brilliant government officials are doing about it.

NOTE! I am not an economist and I do not claim to even be in anyway similar to one. These are only my opinions!

So, to start things out lets take a look at why The U.S.A.’s economy is on the decline. A lack of money. The Average consumer doesn’t have a whole lot of money and what they do have they have to spend to pay for the things they have already bought. This isn’t really anything new it has been going on for the last decade maybe (that is a guess so don’t hold me to it). The real problem here as that somebody got the bright idea to give these people huge loans they couldn’t pay for. Not all of the blame is on the people though; in fact, I put most of the blame on the Government, king George that is. To have a stable economy the government must have money and they don’t because they are spending it all to “liberate” the shit out of Iraq and Afghanistan (and soon Iran). The government is spending $275,000,000 (275 million) a day fighting this pointless war with a total cost of over $489,000,000,000 as I write this (source).

In the past I have actually been against pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan (though I did promote a very different management of the war) because we screwed up their countries and I think the least we could do before we leave is fix it, but things have changed. In my opinion, if we don’t pull out we could bring down the global economy with us.

That is my take on the Economy and how it should be fixed. Now lets look at what the government is doing. king George and his marry men(congress) want to give already cash strapped people $600 with the hopes that they will immediately turn around and spend it on new crap they don’t need. If people are as smart as I hope they are when they get their $600 checks they will only have two thought: save it or pay off my debt. I say that they shouldn’t spend it which won’t help the economy because in the long run I don’t think this will do diddly squat anyway, because those people who choose to spend it (assuming they are people of the cash strapped kind) will then again not have any money to put into the economy. Congratulations Congress you just spend a bunch of money to do nothing! Did FDR hand people a pile of money and say go buy shit. no!

So, I urge you citizen of this country don’t vote another crazy neocon in to office.

P.S. I really wanted to give this a title which invoked “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” but I couldn’t think of anything. So if can think of a better title let me know.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 28, 2008 in economics, opinion, politics


Tags: , , , , ,

Why Do I Need 4GBs of Ram?

I have noticed that most new computers come standard with 2-4GBs or ram; every time I look at a computer with 4GBs of ram I have to ask myself why does the average users need 4GB of ram? They don’t. Vista(32-bit), which comes with many of these computers,Can’t even use 4GBs of ram, but it will try to make you think it can. 32-bit Linux also has this problem, as it is actually a hardware problem, but Linux has a hack that will actually allow you to use that ram. Of course, if you really need 4GBs of ram why are you using a 32-bit processor?

now on to my point. I own 3 computers all of which have less than 1GB of ram. My ibook(Mac os 10.4) and my main pc (Fedora 8 ) both have 768MB of ram. Sure I would like to have 1GB or 1.5GBs of ram sometimes but most of the time 768 is enough.I also have an old dell that I got for $25 that only has 256MBs, so I almost never use it (and I’m too cheap to buy more ram for it so its going to stay that way). Why am I mostly happy with 768MBs of ram when the average person seems to have to have 2GBs at a minimum? There may be many answers to this. The main one being that I use Linux and Mac OS and they use Windows; another top contender is that the average person doesn’t know all that much about computers and have just been told that they need 2-4GBs of ram. The need for several GBs of ram(and a high end graphics card) for an OS to simply run smoothly and as designed shows some serious (possibly intentional) design flaws.

I think I’ll save my money and keep using my outdated, malfunctioning(it has broken hardware) pc and Linux.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2008 in Microsoft, opinion


Tags: , , , ,

Big Corporations Hate You

It is my opinion that big corporations(or at least electronics corporations such as Sony) hate every single one of their customers.My proof for this is every product made my a large electronics company, especially Sony. When the PSP came out a few years ago the first thing I thought was “Awesome I’ll be able to carry around roms of old out of copyright games and play them when ever I want!.” NOPE! Sony has repeatedly gone out of their way to make it harder and harder to get hombrew code onto a PSP and for what? Are they trying to protect us from viruses or root kits? I doubt it. I think they are doing it just to annoy the snot out of users. The sad thing is that it hasn’t hurt their sales (that much).

Lo I have more. Sometimes last year I bough a new Samsung SPH A900M to replace my old failing (the mic was going out) Samsung phone (I like Samsung). This phone is, in my opinion, the best dumb phone you can (or can’t because it isn’t sold anymore except maybe in some walmarts), but It has some huge problems. This first problem I don’t know who to attribute too. So my phone is a “media” meaning it comes with a usb cable and acts as a mass storage device so I can put music on it and stream music and video and stuff like that (more about all of this later). The only problem is that I can’t use the mp3s I put onto it as ring tones. If I want new ring tones I have to buy them from Sprints store (and they all suck)! Ok fine, it is just a phone I don’t need it to play music when I call as long as it can make some kind of noise; whatever. I would just like to know if it is Samsung of Sprint that is blocking me from using my own mp3s as ring tones. Now because this phone is a “media phone” Sprint wants me to pay an extra monthly fee to get power vision (EVDO internet) and won’t even allow me to use the regular vision that already came standard with my package! The worst thing is that I asked the guys working at the sprint store if I would still be able to send and receive test messages. They said of course you just can’t send picture mail. So I’m ok with not having internet on my phones tiny screen I guess. Well after I had the phone for a few month a send a few test messages (I don’t use them that much because they are pointless) and I got charged for them. My dad (The stuff is in his name) called up sprint to ask what was up. They said that my phone did not have vision and thus could not send/receive text messages and then tried to get us to buy the power vision package (witch doesn’t even work where I live so I would be using regular vision anyway and he told them this) even after we explained to him that we were told that I would still be able to send/receive text messages. Did you get that? I need EVDO to send a freaking text message!

And yet the list continues… Apple tries very hard to keep hombrew code off of their ipods and iphones and may even be going as far as bricking their own products on purpose. With the new ipods the library is hashed so that if any program other than itunes edits the content all of it will become unusable, yes I know here is a work around. Microsoft does everything they can to inhibit a users abilities. Sony makes some of the best game consoles out there (hardware wise) and then makes impossible rules to get content onto them. Just take a look around you at all of the electronics in your house that you can’t use properly because they have been intentionally crippled by their manufacture. What kind of a company does this? How can they expect to continue to make money when everyone hates them? They don’t because they haven’t thought that far ahead yet. These corporations can’t think past the next quarter. If just one could think in the long run and they could crush all of their competition by making good products. I know they have a legal obligation too make money for their share holders, but if I were a shareholder in one of these companies I would be worried about the things they are doing to make me money could cause the collapse of the company. The share holders don’t make any money if the corporation goes out of business and they stand to make a lot more money if the company would only stop worrying about making the biggest profits they can right now and think about how to make boat loads of money over a long period of time.

Rant over.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 7, 2008 in economics, opinion


Tags: , , , ,

Windows 7 Sounds like it is going to Suck Hard

Update: Dec 23, 2008 Most of my prodictions in this post have proven to be wrong. I have used a beta (or was it alpha?) of windows 7 (don’t ask me for a copy) and I can say it is a lot like vista, but with many improvements. I haven’t used vista much (for personal use anyway) since the beta so I’m probably not the best person to ask regarding the improvements windows 7 has made, but I have told by windows fanboys that they are rather significant. Needless to say windows 7 is not a thin client like I predicted in this post (thankfuly), however they are going to be doing something with cloud networking but I no idea what it is (I don’t know if it is really known/understood what they are doing). If you have any information or input about the reality of windows 7 please leave a comment.

Bill gates on windows 7 ” That means that right now when you move from one PC to another, you’ve got to install apps on each one, do upgrades on each one. Moving information between them is very painful. We can use Live Services to know what you’re interested in. So even if you drop by a [public] kiosk or somebody else’s PC, we can bring down your home page, your files, your fonts, your favourites and those things. So that’s kind of the user-centric thing that Live Services can enable. [Also,] in Vista, things got a lot better with [digital] ink and speech, but by the next release there will be a much bigger bet. Students won’t need textbooks; they can just use these tablet devices. Parallel computing is pretty important for the next release. We’ll make it so that a lot of the high-level graphics will be just built into the operating system. So we’ve got a pretty good outline.” (from Wikipedia)

What that means is that windows 7 is going to be a thin client which is just used to connect to a copy of windows server over prised edition that isn’t any better than the previous edition but cost a lot more because we like to rip you off edition (or what ever the version is when windows 7 comes out). You will have to pay a monthly fee to access this server, which is the entire reason they are doing it like that in the first place, and it will be very sloooooow and unreliable. Oh and lets not forget that they will have complete access to your unencrypted files, because they would never offer to encrypt them for you, but don’t worry they won’t look at them.

ReactOS is starting to smell really good right about now… Though their homepage doesn’t reflect it if you look over at SourceForge you will see that they have just pushed out Build Environment 1.0!

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 9, 2007 in Microsoft, opinion


Tags: , , , , , ,

No Apology for a Generation that Pushed, and Exceeded, the Boundaries of the World around Them

I just finished up a final copy of one of the papers that I talked about in my last post, so I thought I would share it with you now even though I said I wouldn’t be posting until next week. This paper needs some context for it to make sense. We were assigned a paper to read called “An Apology to Future Generations” by Simon Benlow and then write a response either about what we wanted to apologize for or why we disagreed with the paper. I tried to find this paper on google and had no luck so sorry; I’ll just have to tell you about it (I did find the text book it came from The Composition of Everyday life: A guide to writing chap 12 if your interested). This article basically said we are screwing everything up (environment, society, and stuff like that) with no regard for future generations. The response I wrote is called “No Apology for a Generation that Pushed and Exceeded, the Boundaries of the World around Them.” Here is a pdf if you want it (the pdf is a much better read). The html version follows.

No Apology for a Generation that Pushed, and Exceeded, the Boundaries of the World around Them

I can not apologize for what my generation has done. Yes, we made mistakes, but we also made great advances. Our mistakes will no doubt negatively affect future generations in some way, but I believe that the benefits of our advancements in medicine and science will far outweigh all of our mistakes. There is no reason to assume that our mistakes can’t be fixed with new break throughs in science. Our generations have done terrible things, but we have also made advances in science that may allow us to make up for those things; we can change the way we get resources and possible fix the damage that we have caused.

We have cut down forests, pillaged the oceans, and spewed green house gasses into the atmosphere. In hindsight these are terrible things, but when we started doing them we couldn’t imagine the effects they would have. The problems of our lifestyle has only just started to show their ugly faces, and my generation is poised to find a solution. I don’t think a solution means that we have to change our lifestyle; We need a cleaner, safer way to do things. Just because riding a bike can kill you doesn’t mean you should stop riding; it means you should buy a helmet and be cautious.

By not changing our life styles I don’t mean that we should keep cutting down forests, over fishing the oceans, and spewing out CO2. I mean we should find a way to have the luxuries of a scientific society without doing those things. We can plant fast growing trees, possible genetically engineered to grow much faster, in tree farms for making paper and other things that don’t require hardwoods. We can make fisheries on dry land so that we never have to fish from the oceans again, so that the fish are much closer to our homes, and so they will have lower mercury levels. We can make electricity, and other forms of power, in ways that don’t require us to burn fossil fuels. We can figure out how to remove the green house gasses that we have already put in the air. We can recycle.

It is obvious that cutting down the rain forests is something that just shouldn’t be done, but living without wood is almost impossible. That is where tree farm come in. Tree farms have been around for a while, but not in very large scale. There are problems to tree farms though; It takes a long time to grow trees, so it isn’t an overnight fix, and hardwood tree farms would be almost impossible. Most wood that is used goes into making paper and food products. All of the would that is used for those applications are softwoods, like pine, which can be fairly easily farmed. Combined with recycling the paper that we have already made and using less paper humans could almost get ride of the need to harvest natural forests entirely.

There have been universities and other organizations that been trying to make fish farms in the oceans work for a few years now. These farms consist of a big net full of fish and some computers that feed them whenever they need it. I don’t think that is the best way to do it, but it certainly could work. To cut down on pollution from transporting the fish from the ocean to plates, the fish farms should be on dry land. A large building with a big tank of water, like a giant fish tank, would be all one needs. Not only would this make it cleaner, it would make it cheaper in the long run. because if the fisheries are in the ocean one would have to travel to get to them and back. If the fish farms are in our backyards we can keep a watchful eye on them without motor-boating a few miles into the ocean.

On top of changing where we get natural resources we must change where we get non-natural resources. I have recently heard of self contained fission reactors the size of hot tubs that can power thousands of homes for upwards of a decade. These reactors are designed in such a way that they have no moving parts and thus do not require any human interaction to work properly and safely; they would be just like any battery that one might buy at any local store except much bigger. A town could buy one of these and power the entire town for years with no greenhouse gasses emissions at all. Of course, nuclear fission has it downsides, radioactive waste. Radioactive waste can be reburied in the ground, but it still remains dangerous. It could be thrown into the sun, but currently there is no safe way to get it into space. The ultimate solution to our energy needs seems to be nuclear fusion. Energy producing fusion is still years away but we have made great strides in the area.

Assuming that this generation, or the next, can reduce CO2 emissions to an acceptable level there will still be a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere that shouldn’t be there. The CO2 and methane that cause global warming must be removed from the atmosphere if the situation is really going to improve; I think that this could be done. I read once of a type of concrete developed that could absorb CO2; buildings made of CO2 absorbing concrete could greatly reduce the amount of CO2 in the air, but more is likely needed. If my generation can find a way to take huge amounts of both greenhouse gasses out of the air, there would be much more time to figure out how to stop polluting.

Not every country in the world could do all of these things, but the countries that can’t are most likely not the ones that are causing the problems. My generation has made mistakes, the fact that there are still poverty stricken countries that are being taken advantage of by “the developed world” is evidence of our mistakes, but we can fix them. I have always said that it is okay to break something as long as you can fix it; breaking things is just a learning experience.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 6, 2007 in opinion, writing


Tags: ,

Microsoft will Die, part 2

Last time I talked about why I think Microsoft is going to die and what I think they should do to save themselves. I got the response that I expected to get, disagreement, but that is ok because I like to argue.

Today I would like to talk about who could kill Microsoft and how they could do it. I want this to be from a neutral point of view from the part 1, meaning that I don’t care if it is likely for Microsoft to die I just want to talk about who could kill them if they really were going to die. What I mean by that is if Microsoft dies who is going to be the one to edge them out? Oh and this one isn’t a foss vs Microsoft thing like the last one.

Community driven linux distros are really good but they aren’t going to take on Microsoft anytime soon because they don’t have the organization, or resources. People want to get their software from a company that they can go to if they have problems. Sure they can go to a third party to get tech support but most people won’t want to mess with that because lets face it people are lazy and don’t care if the third party would be better or not.

I want to break this down to four(4) questions:
1. Who could defeat Microsoft In the home pc/workstation market?
2. How will they do it?
3. Who could defeat Microsoft in the Server market?
4. How will they do it?

There is a pretty big list of people that could compete with Microsoft for the Home pc/workstation market: Apple, Sun, Novel, Red Hat, and Canonical. I previously Talked about my feelings towards Solaris. So I think I can safely say that as long as sun doesn’t drastically change directions with solaris you will not find a Solaris box in every home until everyone becomes Masochistic computer geeks. However, Sun can not be counted out of the Workstation business because as long as there is an in house IT presence willing to work with Solaris it will have a place in the work environment. I could be completely wrong and Solaris is the best thing since sliced awesome. And yes I know I’m doing them out of order.

As you may know if you’ve ever read the blog, my main computer is a mac running Mac OS 10.4. I like Mac OS because it makes some things easy, easy generally means less options though. Oh, and I also know that using a Mac makes me a hypocrite, but that is a story for another time. The average user will have no problem using a Mac as long as they are willing to learn that it is just different from windows and not just wrong because it isn’t what they are used to. Apple is pretty self explanatory so I’m not going to go on any further about them, except to say that Apple isn’t that strong in the workstation area.

Novel is a lot like Sun except that their product is more user friendly. Novel seems to be going more for the workstation sales more than anything else, which makes sense. I personally don’t like Suse that much but that isn’t to say it isn’t a great piece of software. With Novel’s stupid patent agreement thing with Microsoft they may well end up being the go to guys for businesses that fall for Microsoft’s saber rattling. I assume that Novel also offers some kind of tech support for Suse so that will bring in people that don’t care about the patent deal as well.

The thing that makes these next two different form the previous three is that they are community driven, with backing from a corporation. RHEL isn’t Community driven but fedora is so actually Red Hat fits into both, kinda. For Workstations RHEL is the best option from Red Hat if you want them to support it, but in the Home PC market RHEL is not really worth it because you can’t buy just a single license, or at least I don’t think you can, so Fedora is your best option. Red Hat doesn’t sell tech support for Fedora as far as I know but if they wanted to market it to home users in an attempt to make money they probably would offer it. If your wondering how they could make money off fedora hang on just a little bit because I’m going to explain that in answering question two.

Canonical is probably the best choice of all of these for a non-technical home user. I haven’t used the newest version of Ubuntu (Gusty Gibbon) so I can’t comment of its usability but I can comment of older versions so I will. Historically Ubuntu has been more user friendly than other distros (this is actually very arguable) but I don’t think that if I gave me dad a copy of Ubuntu he would be able to use it very well. Maybe Ubuntu has become the most user friendly (idiot friendly) OS known to man since last I used it, but I doubt it. So anyway, Canonical is in the best position of all the companies that I have mentioned to take over in the home user market because they already have a presence with Dell. If dell offered pcs that were significantly cheaper due to Ubuntu in a way that made it just as easy for your average Joe to get them as it is to get a windows box from Dell I think a lot more people would go for the machines running Ubuntu.

2. How will they do it? If I were put in charge of one of these companies and asked to try and gain market in the Home the first thing I would do is to through it in a box and ask Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, and who ever else I could find to sell my stuff. I would sell it as cheaply as possible and since all of the Companies I mentioned are selling Free Software (excluding apple) as cheaply as possible means free. Of course, I would charge something for the box but I wouldn’t actually charge for the OS. So I would charge a few bucks to compensate the money I spent to make the physical box itself (paper, cd, ink, shipping) and I would charge a fee for tech support. As long as the price is lower than windows and you can make money off of tech support this should work. The major advantage this has over windows is that tech support is not included when you buy windows, If you want tech support from Microsoft it will cost you on a per call basis. Like I said before people like tech support, but they like “free” tech support better.

The next thing I would do is try to get an already established hardware vendor to sell my product. I’ve already discussed why I would do that so I’m not going to do it again.

3. The list of contenders in the server market is about the same as the home pc market. you have, Sun, IBM, Novel, Apple, Red Hat, and Canonical. Microsoft is not as strong in the server business as they are in the home/workstation business so it wouldn’t really take much to beat them. The only place where I can think of windows servers being dominant is file servers or windows domain for a businesses and organizations that don’t know better. Because I feel that a lot of this is obvious and this is starting to get long and I don’t want to split it into another post I’m only going to talk about the exceptional companies.

I would not use Ubuntu as a server for any purpose at all. Ubuntu isn’t designed to be a server it is designed to be human friendly which is a direct con tradition of what a server is. Ubuntu is designed for people that don’t know what they are doing and not for people that want to do it themselves or do it right. Now I’ve never used Ubuntu sever but if it is anything like the normal version what I have said is true. If you want a Linux server you need a Linux for geeks not for human beings.

4. How will they do it? simple Charge less. If Microsoft is charging a $10000 per year site license fee for a host to run Windows give them them your OS with hardware included for the same price in a one time deal. Or you could just show them your uptimes ;).

I did end up talking a lot about free software but that is just because there is very little non-free software out there that isn’t Unix. Unix is great but is it becoming less important as business move away from it towards Gnu/Linux. On top of that the one Unixen I did mention is free; the world seems to be moving towards free software so that is what I had to discuss.

If I forgot anything let me know.


Posted by on October 25, 2007 in Microsoft, opinion


Tags: , , ,