No hesitation in Recommending Ubuntu

Tom Adelstein adelste at
Tue Jun 14 15:57:09 UTC 2005


I would recommend Ubuntu to anyone. Keep in mind, I make a living
recommending Linux. So, if you wonder why, I'll tell you.

Every PC manufacturer with whom I have worked has had to make serious
engineering changes to Microsoft Windows. I wish I could show you the
hotfix lists. I don't have access to them now, but one time I did. I'm
talking about reams of pages. Reams and reams of pages and 10's of
thousands of hotfixes existed.

One manufacturer doesn't have an NDA with me, so I'll tell you about
Gateway. Once they received the product from Microsoft, they had to fix
it, make enhancements, build drivers, etc. Then they would test it like
mad men. Then, they would create a download and would load the OS on
hard drives which could be put in computers.

I watched people slam things on tables and walk away cursing and angry
because they thought they were ready to do a run and something went
wrong in the final test. It cost a fortune to hold up production because
of some flaky bug.

If Gateway or any other manufacturer bundled Ubuntu, they would make
serious fixes to the distribution to get it to work. I think that they
would have fewer fixes and would have better documentation with Ubuntu
than Microsoft. They would also add components like a version of
Cyberlink's PowerDVD, etc. 

Why don't they? Because they are tied to the financial arrangements -
marketing rebates.

I build my own computers unless someone gives me a name brand computer
for whatever reason. I have a Gateway sitting here, for example.

I tweak and fix every system. Something is wrong with every OS with
which I have ever tried. I see complaints about drivers and apps and all
sorts of things on mailing lists including this one. 

Unless an operating system is engineered for a specific set of hardware,
it's almost impossible to get it right the first time. For example, I
have a Whitebox I bought from Micro Center because they are now bundling
Linux with their house brand. But the DVD software that came with the
drive doesn't work on Windows. Guess what - the OEM version of that
software built for Linux works extremely well with the DVD drive. It's a
cheap Chinese drive, but it works great. 

If I recommend Ubuntu, I'm willing to engineer it to a customer's specs
- only if I'm paid however.

The problem many people face with Linux is simple: hardware
compatibility. Back in the mid 1990's we carried around hardware
compatibility lists for NT, Novell, O/2 and IBM Lan Server. If something
didn't work, it was always our fault. Funny how expectations have

That's a perspective from the industry. It's not that Linux has less
drivers than Microsoft or Mac - it's just that they have different ones.

If you want to make Linux work for you then you'll have to make it work.

I consider it fun, you may have other things to do.


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