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I am a Linux enthusiast, a multi-engine instrument-rated pilot, and a traveller. I am interested in all aspects of computing and technology in general, especially Linux and Free Software. As an avid pilot I can be found somewhere over the skies of the southwestern US most weekends.  As a traveller I have been to many interesting places. Check out my photo gallery. Want to get me something cool? Check out my Amazon.com wish list!

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Whore, or long term relationship?

by Tracy R Reed — last modified Jan 01, 2009 11:49 PM

Just take a guess what this one is about...

I haven't really done much Linux advocacy in recent years since Linux really doesn't need nearly as much as it used to. Linux is mainstream, very successful, etc. Companies with any significant computer infrastructure that don't use Linux are becoming rare. Of course, most of them still make the right choice for the wrong reason but at least they are choosing Linux. But every now and then I still have to step in and advocate for Linux on the desktop. Most of the practical problems with it have gone away leaving us with the perceptual and habitual issues. And those will be even harder to solve and you won't win those arguments on technical grounds. There has got to be another way.

I was reading the Fedora mailing list today and came across this excellent comparison:

 The difference between Windows and Linux is like the
 difference between a whore and a long term relationship.
 It needs some time, it does not allow everything and is
 not always easy, but it is worth it. - Adalbert Prokop

How true!

To which someone else replied:

 I like your comparison and your explanation. A person
 that I knew divorced after 20 years of marriage
 because the wife went with another man. This person
 went to a place and met a whore and got married with
 her. He says that she is the best women a man can
 have. She does not have the urge for other men because
 she has been there, done that. She is faithful and
 treats him like a king. However, this is the
 exception and not the rule.

 The way you state it is the way it is, you stick with
 linux and in the end, you will be better off. It will
 take time, but it is a good decision.

 Regards,

 Antonio

Very interesting point of view, no?

And to look at the long term relationship aspects of it: I have been using Linux for over 13 years now. And everything I learned back then still works today. The tools work the same, the environment works the same, the fundamentals are unchanged. The time spent learning it has been an investment which now pays dividends every time I sit down in front of my computer. Some important capabilities have been added since then that make things much better but they are all pretty much invisible to the desktop user. From a desktop point of view things are a bit prettier and we can read/write Word files etc. Not a big difference. The biggest differences are hidden from the user in the form of better driver support, more auto-configuration of hardware, etc. In fact most of the improvements in Linux as a desktop in recent years seem to have come in the form of getting most of that stuff out of the users face.

On the other hand, Windows users have needed retraining on how many different revs of software since then? And they have had to pay again every time. Windows techs have to get re-certified every time too. It is a never-ending upgrade treadmill. Have fun with that.

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