I can remember about 1957 I won a 5 cent coin for my efforts in the high jump at Field Day in a one-room school house in the bush. That was a prize rewarding me for accomplishment. Another more recent prize was for $600K or so for development UNIX by Dennis Ritchie, Ph.D., Distinguished Member of Technical Staff Emeritus, Bell Labs,
Alcatel-Lucent Inc., and Ken Thompson, Ph.D., Distinguished Engineer, Google Inc., a major step up in operating systems and, as it turned out, something of lasting value still widely used. That’s sweet. Here, I have been told that GNU/Linux or any UNIX-like OS is so old-fashioned.

There is still a possibility Bill or someone will be rewarded for developing that other OS but I doubt it. Compared to the design of UNIX, that other OS is a nightmare of Kludges. Facilitating malware and slowing down just does not seem as valuable to humanity.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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20 Responses to Prizes

  1. Not too much work, just a waste of time. is much more easily learned by everyone I have shown it to over the years.

    Menus are simple things. Once you get over about 8 items in a list, it gets harder to read down the list. You cannot expect people to memorize every menu and icon amongst the several hundred features of a modern feature-full word-processor. Hiding things new ways does not help at all. There are thousands of apps in the world and no one has time to RTFM. Apps must be self-teaching through menus. Office 2007 broke that rule.

  2. JairJy says:

    I always say that Linux is for novices and for curious ones but not for expert users, because novices are “flesh meat”, depend of their curiosity and learn desires to adapt to any operating system or application, like Windows, Linux, OSX, Office 2007 or Sugar. Curious users often have the experience of learning, can search for solutions and intuitively find how to make things work (but that depend of the usability of the OS or application too).

    But experts users often find hardly to learn to use another OS, they know what they want but they can’t adapt of find how to use a new OS because they don’t want to learn anymore to use what they should work for them. For example, they want to manage power consumption behaviors because they know they can do it on Windows, but they don’t find how to do it on Ubuntu, they haven’t desires to search for a solution and they end up getting used and frustrated or leaving the operating system.

    Is like your bad experience about using Word 2007. You get used to the old menu, and even if the save button is visible on the upper left corner, even if the bulleted list button is visible on the main toolbar, and even if the second option of the help menu (an expert using the help menu!? Impossible!) is “Find Word 2003 commands in Word 2007” and directs you to a awesome interactive comparison of every menu between Word 2003 and 2007 (you must see it!: you didn’t have the intuition and the desire to find a solution because “is to much work”.

  3. If the argument is that GNU/Linux is for geeks only and kids can use it, then the argument is false.

    If the argument is that that other OS has huge design flaws but kids can use while it is running, then the kids are irrelevant. Kids don’t like PCs that don’t boot or run slowly. I know. I worked with kids’ computers for a decade.

  4. Pieter says:

    “Many of the haters follow the Troll’s Bible: exhibit knowledge to make arguments seem plausible, claim to love GNU/Linux but find major faults. That is irrational when you realize that young children can use GNU/Linux quite successfully.”

    So if young children use MS Windows quite successfully then it doesn’t have major flaws, right?

  5. Ray says:

    But the ability to convert powerpoints to video seems attractive 😀

  6. Yesterday, a lady asked me for help with Office 2007. Between the two of us we could not find the widget for a bulleted list. What’s with that. In or LibreOffice, it’s right there on the menu bar. How user-friendly is that? Try getting a new user to save or print a file with 2007. LOL! No file/… menu item…

  7. bleh says:

    You serious?

    Are you comparing the size of install packages with the amount of RAM that those programs use?

    OpenOffice is soooooooooo way beyond MS Office 2010 with all its nifty features when it comes to RAM usage….

    and yet so way behind MS Office in features, ease of use…

    I tried just a week ago to make a friend of mine use it.

    “It looks old and it turned all the documents I wrote on it into garbage when I used the .doc converter…. a friend gave me a key for office 2010”

    So they prefer to pirate than to use that shit. Anything but that shit, even though it’s free.

    btw IBM Syphmony is equally huge and slow. I haven’t tried it deeply though, but I give it credit for looking so much nicer than OoO/ LibreOffice -> LOL at linux world forking

  8. JairJy says:

    Is okay that you have your reasons to talk bad about Windows or Microsoft, but you must comprehend that there are people that have reasons to talk bad about GNU or Linux.

    And one of the main reasons are that they see that there exists some people to talk exaggeratedly how about Linux is good in some aspects that are not and how Microsoft is the worst thing in the world. These Linux Haters think that these statements aren’t objective enough and try to tell their opinions about it.

    So to put it simple: while there exist people like you promoting Linux, there where people against your arguments; and if these people think that your influence will misleading familiars, companies or governments, they will try to stop you. That’s why some atheists talk about religion or why some vegans try to convince people to stop eating Big Macs (and nobody are paying them to say that, too).

    The best thing you can do to stop them is to be more objective with your comments, give them less reasons to rant. There is not perfect operating system, even Linux has flaws. Is impossible that Free Software or open-source model can work with every software project. There are benefits on closed-source model. Microsoft (Microsoft, without ‘$’, treat your enemies with respect) can’t be that bad, a lot of people depend on the economic ecosystem that Microsoft or Apple has made (and Linux can’t replace yet).

  9. That other OS is very bad in several ways and hundreds of millions of people using it are unaware that they have a choice. That is an excellent reason to talk about it.

    • re-re-reboots are not normal tech. Most are completely unnecessary when using GNU/Linux. There are thousands of milions of re-re-reboots annually costing $billions.
    • malware is not normal tech. Most malware can be stopped in its tracks simply by using GNU/Linux. Many $billions are spent annually fighting malware and malware does $billions of dollars in damage as well. Many people accept malware as normal and do not realize there is an alternative.
    • that other OS is a tool of M$ to lock-in hundreds of millions of people as slaves sending M$ $100 or more per annum and giving up freedom and performance in IT while doing extra work to keep IT going.

    These are things worth talking and writing about whether we use that other OS or not, just as we talk and do things about politics, crime and disease.

  10. JairJy says:

    “If GNU/Linux is as bad as they say, they should avoid GNU/Linux and have nothing to say about it.”

    If Windows is as bad as you said, you should avoid Windows and have nothing to say about it.

  11. ray says:

    then the libraries of the virtual machine would be different.

  12. Libraries. If snark depends on libx and glurg depends on liby and libx and liby both define the same object in incompatible versions then they cannot be loaded together. A disro might be able to modify and rebuild things so this does not happen but they have no control over an app brought in from the outside. It makes sense to put some things in chroots anyway for security/isolation. If an app goes nuts it cannot easily take down everyone else.

    There is a problem of too many resources for developers these days. There may be many different libraries with procedures for doing the same things and the developer picks from the ones he knows. That’s usually OK because some major packages are very popular and developers choose the same ones and KDE and GNOME steer developers but a randomly chosen app may depend on something that does not work in a distro unless it has an evnvironment similar to what the developer had. It’s not that big of a problem. I can create a wonderful environment with a bit over 1000 packages and it fits in a few gB or storage.

  13. Well, it can be one layer of security, an environment with libraries the app needs or just to waste more RAM and CPU.

    Apps are getting larger now. used to be about 60 MB shipped. Now it’s 180MB. I can set up a virtual machine with KVM in a similar sized space. You could distribute multiple applications and a whole desktop environment with the apps in a VM. It’s all good. What’s Office? 700MB or so? 1gB RAM is just about $10. I think apps should put out almost every “feature” as a plugin so you can configure it to be smaller and more convenient to use but that does not seem to be the trend.

  14. Ray says:

    But why would you need a complete virtual machine, just to run an application? And why not follow a complete standard, like LSB?

  15. Ray says:

    but why would you need a complete virtual machine, just to run an application?

  16. GNU/Linux does nothing to prevent a proper application from running. Any application that lacks some library can be made to run by supplying that library. If necessary, one could take libraries from one distro and put them in a chroot on the other and the programme would not know it had moved. Virtual machines can do the same thing. You can run Fedora in Debian or vice versa if you wish. In these days of huge RAM and huge applications like etc, an application could be shipped as a virtual machine. Then you could run it on any hardware with any OS underneath.

    see debootstrap

    Of course, important apps should be written in a portable language so rebuilding does it all. Using FLOSS, any oddball libraries can be distributed with the software.

  17. Ray says:

    What he said.

    BTW, they could be helping linux, by solving the problems they seem to be having.

    Ex. Being so diverse that you can’t run one program on both Fedora and Debian.

  18. Fear and hatred are base instincts that probably have a lot to do with survival in the wild. It’s not crazy to fear someone who is out to get you. It’s not crazy to hate someone who is out to get you. These instincts may protect you in some cases, but hating and fearing rainbows is totally nuts. We know M$ is out to get us, Bill and Steve have said so many times. They want every PC to have a hard drive, a copy of that other OS and a licence with an EULA permitting M$ to do what it wants with our PCs.

    Those blogs and many other sites are populated with Linux-haters. If you read some of the posts you can appreciate that the hater has done a lot of work to know Linux and yet comes up with really strange interpretations of what GNU/Linux is all about. They should know better. If GNU/Linux is as bad as they say, they should avoid GNU/Linux and have nothing to say about it. This makes me think that some of it is about damaging the reputation of GNU/Linux so that M$’s monopoly can last longer. It’s part of M$’s grand plan, milk the world as long as you can as many dollars per PC per annum.

    You can search for “technological evangelism”. That’s M$’s term for it and it includes making fun of the competition, sucking in developers, locking-in customers, and getting third parties, like academics, journalists and authorities to do a lot of the work. See, for example, GROKLAW.

    Many of the haters follow the Troll’s Bible: exhibit knowledge to make arguments seem plausible, claim to love GNU/Linux but find major faults. That is irrational when you realize that young children can use GNU/Linux quite successfully. Faults mentioned amount to nothing of global importance because they affect few people. For example, 90% of real people don’t care about PhotoShop and yet the haters see that as clear proof that GNU/Linux is a minor OS. Same story with a bunch of applications and system management tools. 90% of ordinary users don’t know that AD exists. Clearly, the major faults are with malware bots running on that other OS, re-re-rebooting, slowing down, etc. stuff of which most users of that other OS are painfully aware. I was talking to a businessman about buying a PC yesterday. The costs of hardware and the OS are trivial compared to what he has to pay for software to do generic things because governmental departments insist he run several expensive proprietary apps for quite generic tasks. One PC costs him $thousands and he has to replace it every few years because it slows down. That is a huge failing of the non-free software market. It does not work for the end-user, just the “partners”. So I believe many of these trolls are on the payroll somewhere in the chain of M$’s partners. They put a lot of energy into it and use their “talking points”. They will do anything to delay the inevitable result that competition returns to IT.

  19. Lexmark printers rule says:

    Pogson, what do you say about the Linux-hater blogs?


    What’s your opinion about them?

  20. Richard Chapman says:

    “There is still a possibility Bill or someone will be rewarded…”

    Most certainly. First though, he’ll start the Foundation that will recognize his contributions to the industry with a large endowment.

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