Monday, March 9, 2009

Rants and Laughs 10

Alright, it is time once again to see what is going on in the Linux 'community.'
  • Here is a good rant about bug triagers. Yes freetards, even if a bug is years old, you should not close it without testing to make sure the problem is actually fixed!

  • Distrowatch has a good vindication of LH's argument that most Linux distros could be achieved by simply reconfiguring another distro. The amount of wheel reinvention going on is amazing even to me!

  • Lusers have been flipping out over someone suggesting ten ways Ubuntu could improve. Most of these suggestions, especially the inclusion of a media center are pretty good fucking ideas, which means lusers are going to get pissed over anyone bringing them up. A particularly freetarded response tried to take the author to task for his suggestions and just ended up making a fool of himself. Most of his nipticks boil down to 'oh, there is this utility you can install that kinda sorta does what you want, but you first have to know that it exists and then jump through hoops installing and configuring it', or 'that feature is in development and will be available in Zesty Zebra' or 'media center, we don't need no stinkin' media center!' He ends with a bang, though,
    So I’m unimpressed. Ubuntu already has the majority of those features (or a close-enough analogue), that guy failed miserably in doing his homework before posting that, and even the things that Ubuntu doesn’t have are Linux/GNOME/KDE/Nautilus/Dolphin deficiciencies, not Ubuntu problems.
    Yes, that loser totally did not do the proper fifty hours of research to make Linux do what he wanted. He just sat down and expected it to function properly, the moron! Plus, all those problems are the fault of the ISVs not the fault of the distro, whose job it is to take all the various pieces of software and integrate them into a polished, cohesive whole. The freetard is strong in this one!

  • A reddit luser asks what idiot designed the GTK File Dialog. As usual, comments are required reading.

  • Linux Kernel, a.k.a. Erotic Pickled Herring, has been released. Way to show the world how mature you are, guys!

  • A luser asks why do you use Linux? He mostly seems to like Ubuntu's nice file dialogs, its resistance to viruses, Gedit and Grsync. So basically, you like it because of a text-editor and a syncing application. Dude, just buy a Mac! You will like its interface, Time Machine and TextMate better. You know why I use Linux? Because it is the only way to keep up on the hilarious stuff you freetards have come up with to torture yourselves and the idiots you convince to join your cult.

  • Some luser thinks a bunch of cheap (mostly proprietary) office clones spell the death of Microsoft Office. Yeah, in your dreams, lusers! What you lusers don't seem to understand is that people are perfectly knowledgeable about alternatives, and if they are provided with a cheaper alternative that still lets them do what they want to do, they will switch in droves. OpenOffice is an inferior product to Microsoft Office, and people who value their productivity more than $200 will find it cheaper to remain with Microsoft. You mention the recession, but you forget that recessions also cause investment funds to abandon wild-eyed schemes and focus on profitability, and last I heard, RedHat was the only major open source distro that was profitable.

  • TechRadar has a good post on how to make your LUG not suck. I was once part of a LUG at my university. It fell apart after several meetings after it was clear that few people were interested in Linux.

  • Apparently, multihead support is still broken in Linux. Business as usual, I know.

  • Here is another article detailing stupid tricks you can do with the bash shell. I almost did not want to post this, but the opening is just too good not to reproduce here.
    If you've ever used GNU/Linux, chances are good that you've used bash. Some people hold the belief that using a GUI is faster than using a CLI. These people have obviously never seen someone who uses a shell proficiently.
    Yes, I have had to use Bash. Yes, I also regret all the time I spent learning to put up with its bullshit.

  • Some luser is pissed that he cannot remove Evolution without removing the entire Ubuntu desktop! The failure goes all around this time. First, there is the luser himself who wants to replace a broken email client with one that appears to have died several years ago and nobody noticed. Attention Luser! Install Thunderbird, delete the Evolution icons from your Applications bar and auto-launcher (you can do that in the wonderfully configurable GNOME desktop, can't you?) and get on with your life. We're talking about <5MB here! Then, there is the distro itself, which takes all the thousands of claims by lusers, "well, Ubuntu is better than Windows because of its customizability", and shoves them up its ass!

  • Here is a Reddit discussion on how to read the contents of RAM in a human-readable way. The thread itself isn't very funny or enlightening, but one of the (probably serious) comments certainly is.
    Or you can write a progam in C that traverses the ram, writes it to a file and then use a hex editor (Emacs in hex mode, for example M-x hexl-mode to look through that.

Soon, I may make another tutorial for you guys (although no one gave ANY feedback, positive or negative, on the last one). Until then, have fun recompiling your new kernel!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Myths about Linux

Okay, here is another really stupid luser site. This one claims to 'debunk' the top 10 'myths' (i.e. facts) about Linux.

NOTE: Well, apparently it was created in 2005 (stupid linux reddit; this isn't new), but I did not realize it until this rant was mostly done. It doesn't matter much because lusers are still making the same claims, and they are still totally full of shit. Let's give a response. It is rather amazing and quite sad.

Myth 1: Linux is too difficult for ordinary people to use because it uses only text and requires programming.

The truth: Although Linux was originally designed for those with computer expertise, the situation has changed dramatically in the past several years. Today it has a highly intuitive GUI (graphical user interface) similar to those on the Macintosh and Microsoft Windows and it is as easy to use as those operating systems.

Having a GUI does not automatically make Linux easy to use. The GUI has to be designed with the users needs in mind, and this is something that lusers have demonstrated an inability to do well.

No knowledge of programming is required.

Wow, I do not need to know how to code quicksort in Intercal to browse the web! This is almost Mac-like friendliness!

Moreover, once people become familiar with Linux, they rarely want to revert to their previous operating system.

So why are all those netbooks being returned?

In some ways Linux is actually easier to use than Microsoft Windows.

In some ways, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

This is in large part because it is little affected by viruses and other malicious code

Yeah, LH already covered this.

system crashes are rare.

This has been covered too.

Myth 2: Linux is less secure than Microsoft Windows because the source code is available to anybody.

The truth: Actually, Linux is far more secure (i.e., resistant to viruses, worms and other types of malicious code) than Microsoft Windows. And this is, in large part, a result of the fact that the source code (i.e., the version as originally written by humans using a programming language) is freely available. By allowing everyone access to the source code, programmers and security experts all over the world are able to frequently inspect it to find possible security holes, and patches for any holes are then created as quickly as possible (often within hours).

You forgot to mention that giving access to the source code also allows lusers who don't know what they are doing to seriously fuck things up.

Myth 3: It is not worth bothering to learn Linux because most companies use Microsoft Windows and thus a knowledge of Windows is desired for most jobs.

The truth: It is true that most companies still use the various Microsoft Windows operating systems. However, it is also true that Linux is being used by more and more businesses, government agencies and other organizations. In fact, the main thing that it preventing its use from growing even faster is the shortage of people who are trained in setting it up and administering it (e.g., system engineers and administrators).

Really. If there was such a serious demand for Linux sysadmins, I think the 'shortage' problem would have been solved by now. There seems to be no shortage of expert lusers on the 'net.

Moreover, people with Linux skills typically get paid substantially more than people with Windows skills.

The reason lusers get paid more is because it takes a lot more skill and work to manage a *nix system. Unix has been called an Administrator Full Employment Act.

Myth 4: Linux cannot have much of a future because it is free and thus there is no way for businesses to make money from it.

The truth: This is one of those arguments that sounds good superficially but which is not borne out by the evidence. The reality is that not only are more and more businesses and other organizations finding out that Linux can help reduce the costs of using computers, but also that more and more companies are likewise discovering that Linux can also be a great way to make money. For example, Linux is often bundled together with other software, hardware and consulting services.

Yes, that is all well and good, but what is the business model if you want to sell software. Not everything can fit under the 'services' umbrella. If you have to depend on hobbyists, you are screwed.

Myth 5: Linux and other free software is a type of software piracy because much of it was copied from other operating systems.

The truth: Linux contains all original source code and definitely does not represent any kind of software piracy.

Linux may not represent piracy, but it still copies. Linux is a copycat of Unix, and most of the Linux GUIs are half-assed clones of Windows.

Rather it is the other way around: much of the most popular commercial software is based on software that was originally developed at the public expense, including at universities such as the University of California at Berkeley (UCB).

WTF? Are you talking about Windows 95's TCP/IP stack? That was thirteen years ago!

Myth 7: There are few application programs available for Linux.

The truth: Actually, there thousands of application programs already available for Linux and the number continues to increase.

I think you mean there are thousands of crappy applications available for Linux. How much of that shit is actually worth using?

Myth 8: Linux has poor support because there is no single company behind it, but rather just a bunch of hackers and amateurs.

The truth: Quite the opposite: Linux has excellent support, often much better and faster than that for commercial software.

What was the last commercial app you used?

There is a great deal of information available on the Internet and questions posted to newsgroups are typically answered within a few hours.

The same is true for both Windows and OSX.

Moreover, this support is free and there are no costly service contracts required.


Also to kept in mind is the fact than many users find that less support is required than for other operating systems

Just who are these users you're talking about? You and your freetard friends don't count.

because Linux has relatively few bugs (i.e., errors in the way it was written) and is highly resistant to viruses and other malicious code.

Oh boy! Most problems normal people have with software is not the result of glitches. Many users don't even understand the most basic concepts about computers. To develop a product they can use, you have to provide a clean, consistent interface that is both well-documented (so they can look stuff up), popular (so they can get help from their friends), and contains the smallest possible configuration space (to minimize the knowledge necessary to use the product). Linux has none of these things.

Myth 9: Linux is obsolete because it is mainly just a clone of an operating system that was developed more than 30 years ago.

The truth: It is true that Linux is based on UNIX, which was developed in 1969. However, UNIX and its descendants (referred to as Unix-like operating systems) are regarded by many computer experts as the best (e.g., the most robust and the most flexible) operating systems ever developed.

There is a group of people who would take issue with that.

They have survived more than 30 years of rigorous testing and incremental improvement by the world's foremost computer scientists, whereas other operating systems do not survive for more than a few years, usually because of some combination of technical inferiority and planned obsolescence.

Unix did not survive because of technical merits. It survived because it was simple (hence portable) and given away freely to universities. The best systems are not the ones best suited to survive; the worst ones are.

Myth 10: Linux will have a hard time surviving in the long run because it has become fragmented into too many different versions.

The truth: It is a fact that there are numerous distributions (i.e., versions) of Linux that have been developed by various companies, organizations and individuals. However, there is little true fragmentation of Linux into incompatible systems, in large part because all of these versions use the same basic kernels, commands and application programs.

HAHAHA!! I can't believe this luser is saying, "well, because all the distros have mostly all the same apps, Linux cannot be called fragmented." They forget that this fragmentation makes it really fun for IHVs and ISVs to support Linux. Not to mention that the fragmentation makes technical support quite a challenge. The Linux community is tiny enough as it is, but it is now broken up into dozens of little distributions.

Rather, Linux is just an extremely flexible operating system that can be configured as desired by vendors and users according to the intended applications, users' preferences, etc.

Ahh, the fallacy of choice rears its ugly head!

In fact, the various Microsoft Windows operating systems (e.g., Windows 95, ME, NT, CE, 2000, XP and Longhorn), although they superficially resemble each other, are more fragmented than Linux.

You are forgetting that four of those systems have been EOLed and are no longer supported. CE is quite different from the rest, but it is not really considered when talking about the desktop. Anyway, even though the systems are different, they look roughly similar to the average desktop user, and the APIs are similar enough that there is a decent (not great, but decent) chance of an application written for Windows 95 running on Vista. The major differences on the Windows platform are the DOS/NT kernel, Start Menu/Vista shell, various IE versions, and various DirectX versions. Do you really think this compares with Linux and its mass of shells, X11 servers, window managers, desktop environments, graphical toolkits and sound systems? Please.

Moreover, each of these systems is fragmented into various versions and then further changed by various service packs (i.e., patches which are supplied to users to correct various bugs and security holes).

Oh come on! Microsoft releases a service pack every two years or so. Ubuntu, the most popular desktop Linux distro, releases an entirely new version every six months. Do you really want to be making this comparison?

Myth 11: Linux and other free software cannot compete with commercial software in terms of quality because it is developed by an assorted collection of hackers and amateurs rather than the professional programmers employed by large corporations.

The truth: Linux and other free software has been created and refined by some of the most talented programmers in the world

It takes more than programming talent to develop quality software. Alan Cox once said, 'Linus is a great programmer, but a horrible engineer.'

Moreover, programmers from the of the largest corporations, including IBM and HP, have, and continue to, contribute to it.

However, most of these major companies are supporting Linux's development as a server. They don't seem to care much about Linux's use on the desktop.

Myth 12: Linux is free at the start, but the total cost of ownership (TCO) is higher than for Microsoft Windows. This has been demonstrated by various studies.

The truth: A major reason (but not the only one) for Linux's rapid growth around the world is that its TCO is substantially lower than that for commercial software.

Oh, I just have to hear these reasons!

(1) the fact that it is free

as in it costs nothing (except bandwidth)

(2) it is more reliable and robust (i.e., rarely crashes or causes data loss)

Windows has made major strides in reliability as well. Solaris is also a (free) contender.

(3) support can be very inexpensive (although costly service contracts are available)

As mentioned before, you can get free support for Windows as well (with about the same quality). Also, have you seen the pricetag for some of those service contracts! Damn!!

(4) it can operate on older hardware and reduce the need for buying new hardware

So can Windows 2000. Also, low-end desktops are going for $400 nowadays. Servicing old hardware and replacing old parts is likely to be more expensive than buying a new low-end PC every 3-4 years.

(5) there are no forced upgrades

There are no forced upgrades on Windows either. Bill Gates doesn't point a gun to your head and order you to buy a new copy of Windows. Companies upgrade because their system is no longer supported. The same thing is true for every major Linux distro with the exception of Debian stable; Ubuntu LTS releases are only supported for 3-5 years.

(6) no tedious and costly license compliance monitoring is required.

I admit that is a valid point. So out of six points, you have two valid ones. You are doing better than most lusers. However, I highly doubt the difference in sticker price and license enforcement costs make up for Linux's TCO problems.

A major reason provided for the supposedly higher TCO of Linux is that Linux system administrators are more expensive to hire than persons with expertise in Microsoft products.

This is definitely a major issue for companies, but you are forgetting a major problem: Linux desktops tend to have lower productivity than Windows desktops. The transition to a service economy has replaced capital-intensive enterprises with labor-intensive enterprises. When a businesses' biggest cost is their employees salaries, productivity issues are incredibly important. Assume all the desk clerks in a company are worth $30 an hour ($0.50 a minute) and work five eight-hour days; also assume that the cost of one Windows Business license is $280. If Windows Vista gives them a twenty-minute per day productivity boost over Ubuntu, then within six weeks Vista will have more than paid for itself.

Well, I think we have now debunked the REAL Linux myths.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How To Write an X11 Application

Linux Hater has not posted any tutorials for a while, so I will do it. Here is my first tutorial; it shows you how to write an X11 application (even a server, especially a server).

  • Be sure to switch the meaning of client and server for no good reason. This makes your app seem avant-garde!

  • Make sure your application follows the ICCCM to a T but is still unable to copy-paste properly.

  • Furthermore, include at least two methods to copy and paste just to cause confusion.

  • Include massive amounts of conflicting code to handle fonts that, at the end of the day, only handles DejaVu Sans properly.

  • Don't bother supporting multiple monitors. Nobody uses those anyway!

  • Make sure your app does not need hardware acceleration to function properly. Save that for the wobbly windows!

  • Alright, maybe your app can use hardware acceleration. But don't you dare try talking to the driver directly and not paying your performance toll to the X server.

  • Okay, maybe you can talk to the driver directly. Or at least you will be able to . . . . eventually.

  • Rewrite your app constantly, but make sure not to fix the major underlying problems.

  • Make sure that users can use your app over the network, even though they never will.

  • Tell at least three people that X-Windows has nothing to do with Microsoft. Because they care.

  • Do not provide a user interface. Instead, provide an API (or, even better, several layers of APIs) that allow users to create their own interface. This gives lusers the ability to make half-assed clones of better designed interfaces for your app.

  • Reassure yourself that, even if your app sucks, at least it sucks on twenty different platforms!

Next time, I will show you how to write an X11 Window manager.

UPDATE: If you like the tutorial, then please digg it. Let's show all the lusers how X11 application writing is really done!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rants and Laughs 9

Well, it has been quite a while since I've posted one of these, so it is time once again for another Rants & Laughs section, where I review the goings on of the luser community at large.

  • Well, it looks like Linux is having some problems with battery life. Apparently, one luser reported that he could only get 75% of the battery life that he could under Windows. I am sure the new tickless kernels will fix everything.

  • Of course, what Linux really needs is another web browser. Nevermind that there area already thirty of them, and they all suck in different ways. This bunch of freetards can certainly do better than the freetards of the past!

  • Here is a good list of things you need to know in order to use Apt properly. I am glad that FLOSS is so easy to use!

  • CNet thinks Microsoft should fear Ubuntu's cloud computing efforts. Suuuurrreeee!!!! Folks, let's be honest with ourselves here. Cloud computing is nothing more than the same old Thin Client song-and-dance dressed up for Web 2.0. The problems with cloud-computing are the same as the problems with traditional thin clients: the fact that the client is useless without a net connection. Consumers are going to drop cloud computing the first time their net connection fizzles. It is snake oil. Move along.

  • LinuxJournal proclaims that Frozen Bubble is better than MS Solitaire. Wow! Freetards have topped a fifteen year old card game! This is truly the year of the Linux desktop!

  • Some freetardette wants drivers for the Eye-Fi card and says the response 'no one uses Linux' is not good enough since she uses it. Okay, Ms. Freetard, here is a response you might like better, "No one uses Linux except you and a handful of other lusers. The rest of the market (i.e. 99.1%) does not care about Linux support. Now, please take your complaints somewhere else; we are trying to make money here."

  • Another luser blog asks how green is Linux? Well, not as green as it should be considering the aforementioned battery life issues and the miserable ACPI support on many motherboards.

  • The freetard from the previous post is back and whining that vendors should brand 'Linux compatible' on their hardware so that the 0.91% of the market will be able to more easily tell if they are wasting their money or not (on Linux).

  • Well, apparently some luser tried to get QuakeLive working on Ubuntu. Sure, you have to copy some DLLs from Windows XP, which means you need a legal copy of Windows XP, but it works right? Well, sound and input work, but there is no video, which is not a big deal if you are blind! Yeah, that is definitely 95% working.

  • Finally, here is an example of open source development done right. Ubiquiti Networks is offering 5 prizes totaling $200,000 for the development of a GUI for their Router Station. I bet they will get some good projects back.