[ubuntu-uk] Leaflets

Mark Harrison Mark at ascentium.co.uk
Fri May 4 13:07:24 BST 2007


You make a lot of good points.

1: Your list of extra applications that users want that I'd not come up 
with is excellent, and I'd certainly want to include it.

2: Your observations about the "ongoing licencing cost of carrying on 
with the copy of Windows you already have doesn't take into account 
Anti-Virus and other subscriptions" is a DAMNED GOOD ONE, and gives me a 
fantastically better answer to the "so what if it's free - I've already 
got Windows" argument when talking about "as in pizza."

BTW, I know that pizza isn't the traditional one here, but I don't drink 
beer, and the phrase "free, as in red wine" just doesn't translate :-)

I want to further explain myself in a couple of areas, and disagree with 
you on one :-)

1: The logic of the "linux is stable... most of the www and email 
servers use it" was not intended to imply "These people use it, and they 
have needs similar to yours..." Instead it was meant to imply "The kind 
of people who REALLY care about their machines not crashing choose 
Linux", and "because Linux is build to this level of reliability, then 
it's certainly going to be reliable enough for your needs."

2: The NTL problem is specific to some regions. NTL have grown not by 
rolling out a standard system, but by buying up legacy local cable 
companies. As a result of this, there is a mismash of odd "cable 
broadband" solutions out there under the NTL brand. (This is why I wrote 
"...in some areas.") In some areas, for example Clanfield (just north of 
Porstmouth), a friend of mine had exactly this problem. The broadband 
solution was two-box - a set-top-box that was provided, and a specific 
USB network card, that came with Windows software that "registered" as a 
one-off, the MAC address of the NTL card with a particular subscriber. 
Looking back, I was trying to set up a router as well as a Linux box, 
and in the end the only way we could get it to work was to firstly 
register the MAC address in Windows, then go into the router's config 
and use MAC address spoofing to make it look as if it was the USB thing 
that NTL had supplied, then set up the linux box via the router. This is 
why I said something that boiled down to that "you may need a local 
expert to set this kind of thing up". Had it been a single PC running 
Windows, it all worked out of the box.

3: I want to disagree with you on one thing you pulled me up for. And 
it's a "taken in context" disagreement rather than an absolute 

I wrote:
 >>Ubuntu applies a set of defaults that mean that, even if a user 
clicks on a virus by mistake, they won't make it infect the PC.

You responded:
 > Don't just single out Ubuntu for praise. All *nix's share these 

Firstly: We're in the middle of a thread about Marketing on the 
Ubuntu-UK mailing list :-) I make no apology for promoting Ubuntu 
generally, but specially not on this particular list :-)

Secondly: It is, alas, not true that all *nix's share these attributes. 
There have been well-publicised examples of Linux distributions where 
the ONLY user account created was root, and that all applications the 
user ran ran as root. I agree it doesn't apply to Debian / Suse / Gentoo 
/ Fedora / [insert your favourite here], but the point behind this is 
that the security model is only as secure as its set of default choices.

I wanted to allude to the fact that in choosing Linux, the average user 
is in fact choosing a specific distribution, and wanted to play up (as I 
did again later about applications working together) Ubuntu as a good 
choice :-)



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