[ubuntu-za] A reply to Rusty

Brenton Edgar Scott trixarian at gmail.com
Tue Apr 6 18:55:24 BST 2010

We can bash Windows all day, but that doesn't change that some of us 
have to deal with it daily basis.

The major problem we face with MS products compared to Open Source is:
1. It's closed source - and in the buyers mind 'secure'.
2. Buyers nostalgia - meaning that if you paid a lot of money for it, so 
your going to spend time learning how to use it. This is also why people 
believe it to be quality software.

To get to buyer nostalgia first, It's the same if you've ever been to 
University and found out your not allowed to use Wikipedia as a 
reference source. It's taken for granted that Wikipedia spends close to 
6 billion annually to keep it's services running and has over 12 million 
active contributors, the majority of which are actually trained and 
working professionals in the fields they write about. It ignores the 
fact that Wikipedia has several standards to keep the accuracy of it's 
articles and any change has to go through so many hoops before it gets 
accepted that it's not even funny. For example, the recent death of 
Britney Murphy - The change was made minutes after it got confirmed by 
someone, but was removed and re-inserted multiple times during a 12 hour 
period because people needed multiple sources for it to be accurate. The 
thing is, people should stop believing that free and open equals crap 
and insecure.

Now Windows and it's Software's closed source nature is actually the 
problem with creating compatibility. It's a pretty hit and miss game 
when writing software that can convert one format over into another one. 
MS makes no effort to allow Open Source Software to work well with it's 
products - there is also no LINE (Line is not Emulator or Linux 
Emulator) for it. The only viable solution is to use a ported piece of 
software, for example, I used Thunderbird on Windows for my e-mail. It's 
simply copying one file and moving it over to my Ubuntu and importing. 
Cellphone connectivity? Bluetooth,  Blueman (the package) and maybe 
something like gnokii (it works with phones brands other than Nokia 
BTW). Yeah, this is a little bit of effort, but much less than you'd 
spend on learning a bought product.

I don't believe forcing people to use a small set of tools will help 
things much either. It's too Windows-like. Variety of choice helps and 
you do get cross-platform software like GIMP and Thunderbird, so use 
those on your Windows Machine and portability should be simple. Maybe 
even use SAMBA and setup a network with your windows machines to make 
sharing even easier between OSes.

Anyway, that's just my opinion on the matter.

----- Brenton Edgar Scott -----
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