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Bombing of Dresden (was Plea for help: The detriment of using Microsoft products)

On Tue, 16 May 2000, David P. Greenberg wrote:

> --Well, now I know how Francis Gary Powers felt. I knew I'd get a
> flamin' but boy howdy...  Now that I've effectively pissed everybody
> off; Hi, my name is Dave Greenberg.

As one of the most billowing of flamers, welcome!  I think it's safe to
say that you "touched a nerve" so to speak, more than pissing anyone off
per se.  We get a LOT of people (more and more lately, it seems) who
complain about Microsoft bashing, writing it off to some sort of jealousy
or something, without understanding the MERIT behind the bashing, and
believe me, there's lots of merit.  

I started out my professional career in the Microsoft world, right about
the same time I was exposed to Linux for the first time.  I, like you, got
Linux in order to learn more about Unix, to be more well-rounded and

> You realise of course that it's all in good fun, and an attempt at
> learning something. I gather from reading the posts on this list that
> most of you guys are pretty much computer heavyweights. I'm not.

That's ok, we're here to help, believe it or not... :)

> I do however feel that I may be a valid contributor in that I have an
> insight into the struggle of the "common" user. For example, yes,
> Linux is "free". After I purchased my sixth distro before I could get
> one to work, I surely spent as much as I had on my copy of Win95. 

For the uninitiated, installing Linux (well, mainly configuring stuff
after the install, at this point) *IS* difficult.  With newer releases,
RedHat has one of the easier installs.  So long as you have fairly
mainstream hardware, it's a snap to install.  Figuring out how to do stuff
afterward can be difficult though.  But the documentation is there.  And
so are we.  :)

> Yes there's thousands of free software titles. I'd say at least 60
> percent of the apps I use in Windows were also free. There's tons of
> free "Win-ware" out there. Some of it is quite good. I've got CAD
> programs, calendars, word processors, you name it. All free. Most of

The one problem I've always had installing free windows software is that
there always seems to be a very good chance my system won't work properly
the next day.... :(  I've had no such problems on Linux.

> The one in PhotoDeluxe (freeware) works great. 

Where does one get PhotoDeluxe for free?  I searched for it on and and neither of them have it.

> Furthermore, let
> us not forget that there are also companies out there who do not give
> away their Linux products either. 

Of course there are.  People have been begging for commercial support.
Now they're getting it.  There are far fewer of them for Linux, because so
much of what you will want to do with your computer can already be done
with Linux without paying a penny.

> $39.00. I also paid over a hundred for the super duper deluxe Corel
> distro, and ended up keeping the rubber penguin. 

The penguin is the best part!  I didn't really like Corel at all.

> Not only did the distro blow, but (after reinstalling my Mandrake6
> which it killed) I couldn't even use the extra give-mes that came with
> it, 'cause they're not compatible.

This is probably because they're .deb packages rather than .rpm files.
You CAN get debian's package manager to run on redhat, and then (assuming
that's the problem) the goodies should work fine.  Usually though, there
are also .rpms available and you can just get those.  

> I can run DOS progies in Win95, and (with a little effort) win95
> progies in Win3.1, but apearantly I can't run Debian programs in
> Mandrake. 

Same problem as above.  They will run if you can get them installed.
Incidentally, you can also run most DOS programs on Linux, and many
Windows programs (especially 3.1 but more and more W95) will run on Linux
under WINE (free), WABI, or Win4Lin.

> about Unix. It's been three years now, and I haven't given up yet. I

Here's to perserverence!

> I propose the following. My business, Bitco Electronics builds custom
> pro audio sound systems. Some of the most "in your face" systems in
> New England were built all or in part by me. Clients include Museum of
> Science and I built the headphone system in use at MIT music library.
> Since we're all in the land of the bean and the cod, I propose a
> barter. You help me with my Linux box, and I'll help you shake your
> floors and rattle your windows (no pun intended).

Now that has a certain appeal...  If only I didn't live in an apartment!


Derek Martin
System Administrator
Mission Critical Linux
martin at 

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